Ben Drury, CEO of UK online music service 7digital.com has slammed the newly-announced Nokia ‘Comes With Music’ service as “fatally flawed”.
“Nokia’s new service is an interesting new model for digital music but at first glance seems fatally flawed,” Drury said. “Songs downloaded through the Comes With Music service are not in MP3 format and are wrapped in DRM (Digital Rights Management) locks which means the downloads cannot be played across a multitude of music devices including iPods and all other MP3 players.”
Referring to the terms and conditions of ownership of the music, Drury pointed out that customers are limited in the amount of time they can hang onto the music.
“Nokia claims users will be able to keep any downloaded tracks forever, even if they decide not to renew their contract. In reality, “forever” means for the lifetime of the device (typically 2 years) or computer they download to – users won’t be able to transfer their music to new, non-Nokia devices in the future.”
He continues: “Why would you download music in a format that is so restrictive, when you can get the same music in a universal format that can be played and shared across any music enabled device? MP3 is the only format that works on all devices – MP3 downloads are compatible with any music player, including iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, Sony Walkmans and all other MP3 players.
A compelling music offering needs to escape DRM. The high-quality DRM-free MP3 format is what digital music consumers have been waiting for.”
“We know that consumers see DRM as somewhat of a hindrance when purchasing legal digital music. That’s why on September 16, 7digital announced it is now selling digital music in high quality (320kbps) MP3 format from all major and indie labels. We believe that quality, compatibility and flexibility are the crucial factors in digital music.”
We expect further reaction to Nokia’s news.