Nokia Music went DRM free in India in December last year and I thought it was a pretty big deal. When the service first launched, the idea was to give you access to a huge catalogue of DRM’d music for one year with the purchase of a new Nokia device, and after that one year you could keep all the music had downloaded, but there was no way to renew the subscription. If you wanted more downloads, you’d have to get a new ‘comes with music’ device.
Since then the service has changed considerably, and has been brought to low cost devices like the Asha series. These devices sell for less than $200, and come with the ability to download DRM free music that you can send to your friends, or copy and play on another device. Today via the official @NokiaIndia Twitter account, the ability to renew your Nokia Music subscription was announced. Currently you can only renew for one month at a time, and the cost of the recharge is just Rs. 113 a month which translates to just over $2.
(Downloaded from the Nokia Music Store, transferred to the Mac and from there onto the iPad and so on. DRM free win).
So for Rs. 1356 (just over $26) you can download millions of DRM free, high quality 256 kbps music – all year long. That’s just amazing. You can purchase a renewal pin online, or at a Nokia store in your city.
The Nokia Music Unlimited service in India gives you access to 4 million tracks, which in addition to a very large collection of international music, offers an extensive selection of local music, including some really old tracks that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. Nokia Music Store includes wide-ranging catalogues from major global labels like Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Nokia’s local partnership with Indian Music Industry (a consortium of more than 150 music companies), Hungama that represents major labels including Yash Raj, Tseries, and SIMCA (South Indian Music Companies Association), amongst others. Basically, it’ll have pretty much everything you are looking for. Plus, through things like the Nokia Music Theater, you’ll also find a selection of content from great local artists who haven’t become quite so popular, yet have excellent music.
All of that for a full year, for less than what you’d spend on a meal at a not so expensive restaurant. Rs. 113 is an unbelievable price, and if Nokia can stick to it, I am sure a lot of people will only be too happy to sign on. No service in the world offers access to such a large quantity of DRM free for such a small price. At least in India, Nokia Music has the potential of becoming a bigger draw than even Nokia Maps, and that’s saying a lot because Nokia Maps is an excellent itself.
There are still a few things I’d like them do to – the first is start supporting Macs. The tracks are DRM free MP3 files and there is no longer a technical reasons for the service to be Windows only. Next, I’d like to see Nokia offer higher quality downloads over the air in addition to the compressed versions that are currently available. If I have a 3G plan, or am on WIFI, I shouldn’t be forced to download the compressed track.
Finally, I cannot wait to see Nokia Music launch in India on the Lumia series as well.
PS: I am certain, Nokia will not be able to offer this price point in other countries. But for India, this is a great price.