DRM kills Nokia music service

by Simon Aughton on January 18, 2011

Nokia is to close its mobile music service in Europe because the DRM-encumbered tunes cannot be played on iPods.

Ovi Music Unlimited launched, as Comes With Music, in 2008, providing free music streams from all four major record companies. Tracks were encoded using Microsoft’s Plays For Sure technology, ensuring that they could be played on a PC but not transferred to iPods, which have never supported Microsoft’s DRM.

The service also suffered from lack of marketing and patchy support — Nokia didn’t enable it on all its handsets and some mobile networks declined to support it. It only emphasises why Apple insists on total control over the software and services on the iPhone.

Adam Mirabella, Nokia’s head of music services, told the Financial Times that the service is being scrapped in Europe, but will continue to operate in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa, where it has proved popular.

Users in the UK and the other 26 countries affected by the shutdown will have access to the service until their subscriptions expire.

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