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Nokia shuts down Ovi Music Unlimited, nobody knows that it existed

Another day, another unfortunate bit of news involving Nokia. This time, it is the company’s software services that is involved: apparently Nokia has decided that its Ovi Music Service which offered free music downloads was not attracting enough attention to warrant any farther investment and has pulled the plug on it. Wait, Nokia actually offered such a service?

Read on to find out more.

Remember how software developers and record labels were busy working to create a music service that would rival or surpass Appe’s iTunes over the past few years? Apparently, the list of such competitors claiming to have the next iTunes killer has just got one high-profile contender struck of the list. Nokia, the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer, has just announced in a news release that it will be pulling the plug on its Ovi Music Unlimited service which allows users to download songs at no charge.

At first glance, it may seem like a brutal joke gone wrong for Nokia. After all, vast numbers of consumers have already been downloading pirated music for free, thus the idea that a service which would offer users with legitimate music at no cost would be a runaway success with the public. And on top of that, the fact that the Ovi Music Service was backed by all four major record labels (Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner Music) meant that Nokia’s service was blessed with very strong start which most competitors could only hope for. And here we are today breaking the news that the plug on such a service has been pulled.

So what went wrong? Apparently, Nokia thinks that the main reason for the failure of its free music service lies in the fact that it the company shackled each track with DRM to prevent piracy. This resulted in the downloaded tracks being disabled from playing on any device that it was not downloaded on.

“The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service,” said a spokesman for Nokia, adding the firm continues to offer DRM-free tracks through its music store in 38 countries.

That being said, Nokia has confirmed that the company will continue to honour existing subscriptions to its Ovi Music Unlimited service. While the plug may have been pulled, consumers with outstanding subscriptions will continue to have full access to the service till the day their subscriptions eventually expire. Ironically, this may actually work to Nokia’s advantage; at least, the world now knows that Nokia once offered a free music download service at some point. Here’s hoping that consumers won’t start kicking themselves for not making use of the free 12-months subscription that was offered with selected Nokia handsets.

Source: Reuters

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