We feel special.
We’ve heard a great deal about Nokia’s Comes With Music (CWM) service – and now the UK is first in line for it…
Our little isle has been chosen by the Finns to be the first country to receive CMW – a system whereby users are provided with unlimited access to the content of music labels for the lifetime of their handset.
Of course this sounds wonderful in theory but there are caveats: for a start the service will be exclusively available through the increasingly influential Carphone Warehouse and only the fairly average Xpress Music 5310 will be compatible. Other notable points are CWM tracks are DRM laced so they can only be played back on the handset and a single computer, becoming unplayable once you swap phones. Audiophiles may have issues too since newer tracks will be encoded at just a 192Kbps bitrate while older tracks take a drop back in time to 128Kbps.
That said, let’s not get too down about this because users will have the option to keep some or all their tracks at the end of the subscription or simply transfer them to another new CWM handset. Furthermore, while some subscription based music sites already exist, this is by far the most ambitious attempt to date to give customers a seamless and limitless experience with music on their phones.
Where is the kicker for music labels in all this? In short: if customers warm to the idea it should take a large bite out of piracy.
The final cherry on top: of the so-called ‘Big Four’ record labels Universal, Sony BMG and Warner are already aboard while EMI is expected to join prior to launch. Throw in a myriad of smaller independent labels who have signed up too and consumers look to have been given quite the run of the house.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Comes With Music and I suspect so will every major mobile phones’ manufacturer out there… Pre-orders start now.