Nokia and 3 both launched unlimited music services last week, in what appears to be recognition of the success of Omnifone as well as the higher-profile Apple iPhone and iTunes.
Nokia is offering a year of unlimited downloads to customers who buy its devices. The manufacturer has told customers that with its ‘Come With Music’ service, they can keep the music they have downloaded even after the first year has elapsed.
Customers will then have to pay for any extra music from the Nokia Music Store and will be able to transfer their downloaded tracks to a new handset.
The service will launch during the second half of 2008 and will be available across a range of selected devices within Nokia’s portfolio.
Each device will come with a unique PIN number that customers can enter into their phone to activate the one-year subscription. The programme will launch with tracks from record label Universal Music and Nokia is in talks with other labels.
Meanwhile, 3 is offering unlimited access to eight genre-based music stations. The service is called ‘Non Stop Music’ and users can get access to the eight channels for 49p for 24 hours.
The genres range from classical to dance, and the channels run on a four-hour loop. The music will be updated every week. The service was launched in partnership with Ericsson.
MusicStation: 500K downloads in two weeks
Vodafone claimed last week that it has had 500,000 downloads in just two weeks since it launched its unlimited downloads through the MusicStation service in partnership with Omnifone.
The deal is being offered for free over a certain period and on particular contracts, and will then be charged at its regular price of £1.99 per week.
Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis said: ‘Consumers will increasingly come to expect unlimited access to music, direct to their mobiles. We are delighted to hear Nokia intends to embrace and develop its own version of the unlimited music download model.’
3 marketing director John Penberthy-Smith said. ‘The new 24-hour streaming will be hugely popular with our customers. Our other music services such as Music Store and dual downloads have set the pace for the market.’