Analyst predicts Nokia's Comes With Music to close within year
Contending that it is too late to rival Apple's iTunes premium digital music service, MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen forecasts Nokia will shutter its Comes With Music all-you-can mobile service by the end of 2010. "The time to really push for a premium service to compete with Apple was two to four years ago," Kuittinen tells Reuters. "I give it a year before they close it." Now available in 15 international markets, Comes With Music (first introduced in the U.K. in the autumn of 2008) has so far racked up more than 10 million downloads in both Mexico and Brazil, two of its most successful markets--by comparison, Reuters notes that Apple reported 100 million downloads after iTunes had been open for a comparable period of time, and has sold more than 8.5 billion tracks since going live in April 2003.
CCS Insight Ben Wood blames Nokia for saddling Comes With Music with inferior handsets and confusing marketing efforts, calling promotion for the service "colorful but oblique." Digital media research firm Music Ally is more blunt: "It's been nothing short of a disaster," director Steve Mayall said. "It was poorly executed and there was also a general level of disbelief of having unlimited music on a handset for one price." Nokia remains positive about Comes With Music, however. "We have received some great user feedback for the service," Nokia head of global music Liz Schimel tells Reuters. "We take a long-term view of Comes With Music rather than seeing it as a short-term promotion." Nokia adds that it would cost users €934 (about $1,362 U.S.) to download the top 100 albums on iTunes in addition to the cost of the device, compared to an all-inclusive €450 ($656) for its X6 Comes With Music device.
Music Ally reported in October that Comes With Music has signed up slightly more than 107,000 users worldwide. According to Music Ally, 32,728 British consumers signed up with Comes With Music as of July 2009--Australia follows with 23,003 subscribers, trailed by Singapore with 19, 318. Music Ally notes that Comes With Music is faring more successfully in emerging markets than in developed Western nations, where the competition is stiffer.
For more on Comes With Music's troubles:
- read this Reuters article