Nokia (NOK) is pushing itself into the mobile music market with a new partnership with Warner Music Group (WMG), with both companies hoping to entice customers into downloading more songs while helping dwindling music sales. The world’s largest phone-making company is using the deal to push its Comes With Music subscription service and mobile Nokia music store, while Warner Music Group hopes the partnership will ease some of the burden from iTunes’ market. Although iTunes is by far the largest digital music store and supports a pay-to-download MP3 service, many major record labels are struggling with the Apple store because of disagreements in price. Nokia’s Come With Music service is the mobile industry’s most significant step towards aligning the offerings of Web 2.0 mobile technology with the needs of the music
The service enables users to download music and keep it for 12 months, or as long as they keep the device or transfer it to a PC.
Late last year Nokia signed a partnership with Universal, and in April they penned one with Sony BMG, making the phone company one of the largest music content contributors to the music industry.
Of the major record labels, only EMI is absent from a Nokia partnership.
With CD sales falling steadily, the music industry is banking on such partnerships with the mobile industry to raise sales.
Downloaded music netted a mere 2.9 billion dollars in 2007, a number record labels such as Warner Music Group hopes will increase with a Nokia partnership.
Considering the phone company sold almost 150 million phones last year, it is feasible that the Comes With Music subscription service could significantly increase the music market and make Web 2.0 mobile technology and the music industry on the same business page.