Nokia admits to blunders in initial Comes with Music launch
In an interview with The Telegraph, the head of Nokia's Comes with Music effort admitted the company made some missteps in its launch of the much-hyped offering in the United Kingdom.
"When we launched in the U.K., the timing was such that we launched it with two devices that were slightly out of date," said Lenn Pryor, vice president of product marketing for Nokia's Services & Software unit.
Nokia's Comes with Music service, which offers an introductory year of unlimited music downloads that users are able to keep, launched in the U.K. with the 5310 XpressMusic and the N95 8GB. Pryor blamed apparently sluggish interest in the service on the aging devices, and said subsequent launches of the service with the company's high-end 5800 touchscreen smartphone "are doing very, very well." He did not provide specifics.
Following the launch of Comes with Music in the U.K. last year, Nokia has expanded the reach of the service to Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Australia and elsewhere. The company has promised to launch the service in the United States, but has not provided specific dates.
Nokia surely had hoped its launch of its initial Comes with Music service in the U.K. would have been more successful. The Telegraph, citing an unconfirmed rumor, reported only 23,000 subscribers have signed up for the offering since November. Nokia has not disclosed official subscriber figures for any of its Comes with Music markets.
Pryor said Nokia "learned a lot" from its U.K. launch. He said Nokia needed more retail partners for the service in the country, beyond Carphone Warehouse.
"We won't give up on Comes with Music, or the U.K. We'll be back with the 5800 there," he said.
Interestingly, though, Pryor said the vast majority of songs that Comes with Music subscribers access are not new releases, unlike the standard music retail scenario. Instead, he said 90 percent of the songs subscribers access come from the service's back catalog.
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Article updated April 30 to correct innacurate information.