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April 22, 2008

The music just got a little louder

LONDON, England – The global music download business is currently worth about $4billion. Tero Ojanpero reckons that if less than 10 per cent of the devices Nokia sold were Comes With Music devices, it would double the size of the market. That’s one helluva claim and probably one brought into the discussions which resulted in today’s news that Sony BMG is to offer its entire catalogue to Comes With Music customers.

That’s everything from Elvis to Jackson, Timberlake to Britney, and if you fancy it, The Clash are in there too.

The concept is brilliantly simple. Buy a Comes With Music device and you get all-you-can-eat access to as much music as you want for 12 months. Currently that includes the entire cataloges for Universal and Sony BMG. There’s no limit on the amount you can download and you get to keep the music for life. Of course, there are restrictions – you can only play the music on registered devices (one PC and one Comes With Music mobile device) and sharing with mates is a strict no-no thanks to copy protection. You can however restore your music if you replace either your PC or your device, so no need to worry about losing your phone or destroying your hard drive.

According to Thomas Hesse from Sony BMG, research shows this service has big promise amongst consumers. And it’s pretty easy to see why. Hesse reckons “Comes With Music will open up Sony BMG’s vault of music to customers”. The back catalogue is amazing, just take a look at Sony BMG’s site to see what kind of music will be on offer. There’s definitely something for everyone.

If, like me, you’re a casual eater of new (and old) music, rather than a hardened music head, then this service could well change the way we buy and own music. After all, do we really need to “own” music in the true sense of the word. If it’s there where we want it and when we want it (streamable from your PC around the house and in your pocket wherever you go) surely the restrictions no longer matter, right?

We’ll have more from the Music Event coming up, including the post conference conversation and some hands on video with the new devices. Meanwhile, let us know your thoughts on Comes With Music below.