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Nokia Comes With Music Fails To Attract Users

Comes With Music, the download-as-much-as-you-want music service launched in 2008 by mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, has apparently only managed to get 107,000 users worldwide including a wimpy 32,000 in the UK.

The data was obtained by music website MusicAlly and dates from July 2009; CMW was launched in the UK, in fanfare back in 2008, with some massive advertising backing courtesy of Carphone Warehouse and even appeared on popular TV show, X-Factor.

Back in April, the same website managed to find out that there were only 23,000 active Comes With Music users in the UK, a tiny fraction of Nokia's user base in the UK.

In that same month, Nokia said it had sold more than three million Nokia 5800 Xpress Music smartphone in the first three months of 2009 and claimed that the phone was the top portable music player in terms of units sold in UK, beating Apple's iPod.

Comes With Music looks great on paper but fails on three critical aspects. Firstly, it relies heavily on digital rights management, which means that for example, you won't be able to play the tracks you download on non Nokia mobile phones.

Then, there's the fact that Nokia hasn't been able to offer a wide enough range of mobile phones that are Comes with Music aware - only the 5310, the N95 CMW and the 5800 Comes With Music have been advertised as Comes With Music compliant.

Thirdly, the emergence of rivals like Spotify have been a particular thorn in the side of Nokia (ed: Spotify has only just released its mobile edition, which means that back in July 2009, only the first two arguments were valid).

Our Comments

Well, we're frankly quite surprised by these figures especially as in theory, CMW is just another Spotify, but only for Nokia users. However, somewhere along the line, something went wrong. Was it too expensive? Too restrictive? Not inclusive enough? One thing is for sure, Spotify - as well as others - will follow the fate of CMW with interest.

Related Links

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Nokia's Comes with Music: just 107k users (opens in new tab)


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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.