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April 22, 2008

Talking about the music

LONDON, England – During this morning’s press conference, Tero Ojanepro highlighted how the Comes With Music concept “clearly resonates with consumers” which we take to mean, it’s something we’ll all be getting excited about when it launches. After all, not having to worry about how much you’re spending on music on a monthly basis has to be a good thing, right?

Of course, the madding crowds which were the London-based journalists in attendance weren’t short on taking Tero to task on the subject. The post press conference Q&A session turned into something of a conversation between the gathered hacks and Nokia’s main music man. Here’s our pick of the more interesting questions asked.

Stuart Dredge of wanted to know if the service is in competition with ISPs and mobile operators. Tero highlighted Nokia’s desire to grow the music market, rather than compete with what is
already there. With such a different approach, it’s easy to see how this is a reasonable plan.

Responding to a question about whether having DRM was a good thing when other services were offering music DRM-free, both Ojanpero and Hesse pointed to how the Comes With Music service is very different to any a la carte offering. However, Tero also said Nokia is watching the market closely and could potentially tweak the service accordingly. Whilst not ruling out a DRM-free version, he didn’t confirm it was going to happen

Andrew Lim
from wanted to know what was going to happen at the end of the 12 months. Tero said “we are still exploring what will be best for the consumer. Already we know you will be able to upgrade
or move to a pay as you go service [whilst still keeping any music you’ve downloaded during the year].” More interestingly though, Tero suggested that other options were still being considered, but we have
to watch this space.

Stuart Miles
from wanted to know how the 12 month Comes With Music service compares to the trend most UK operators now have towards 18- or 24-month contracts. As something that Nokia is only well aware of, Tero said the company is in discussions with operators but wouldn’t be drawn further on any detail.

Closing out the discussion, Stuart Dredge came back with one more question “how long before we see Nokia become a Music Label itself?” Tero, considering he was standing next to one of the most important men in the music industry, was clear in his response “our background is technology – we’re not planning to become a music business, we’ll leave that to companies like Sony BMG”.

Tero closed out the session by saying Nokia “wants to drive consumer engagement and excitement”. In essence, making devices and services consumers love, find easy to use and that go above and beyond anything else out there.