Nokia launches iTunes rival to drive handset sales

By Angela Dorizas

SYDNEY: Nokia Music Store opened its virtual doors to dealers and retailers at a Sydney launch last night. A live demonstration of Nokia Music Store was followed by performances from local electronic group The Presets and up-and-coming singer Kate Miller-Heidke.

Nokia’s online music service is touted as a real rival to Apple iTunes. 

“Only Nokia has the global reach to pull off some of these amazing record deals,” said Nokia communications manager, Louise Ingram.

“To add a fully functioning music service that works on both the PC as well as a mobile device with international and local repertoire, means that we have a quality offering out there in the market.”

Nokia has been working closely with local and international record labels to ensure a wide range of content, said Nokia Australia general manager, Shaun Colligan.

“Australia will be one of the first 10 countries in the world to get their own localised Nokia Music Store," Colligan said. "We aim to make our store more locally relevant than any other digital music store in Australia.”

The new music service is available via PC and Nokia N95, N81, N82 and Xpress Music handsets. The online music store is expected to drive Nokia handset sales.

“We are going to continue to push Nokia handsets. It is another reason for people to buy Nokia,” Ingram told Current.

“We already know that three out of every four Nokia N Series users are using their mobile phone – their multimedia computer – to listen to music. That will continue now that they have the full music service.”

Nokia Music is compatible with Windows Media Player and rival mobile handsets, ensuring a broader customer base.

“It is a PC based service, so if you don’t even own a Nokia you can get on this service,” Ingram said.

Prices start from $1.70 per track and $17 for an album.

“In addition to that we have added the only streaming service available in Australia. At $10 a month – less than a third of the price of a CD – you can have unlimited access via your PC to anything on the Nokia Music site,” Ingram said.

Nokia is offering a range of payment options, including pre-paid retail vouchers.

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