Retail in Asia

In Trends

Nokia to offer phones with free music service in China

Nokia will offer free music with its mobile phones in mainland China, as it looks to emerging markets to boost the download service that is struggling to compete with Apple’s popular iTunes.

Nokia is hoping the downloads will lift sales of its phones in China and support phone prices. But it likely has to pay something to the labels to distribute music, raising its risks. With more than 700 million subscribers, China is the world’s biggest mobile market by users. But rampant piracy in the country has kept most major music labels and movie makers from realising significant revenue there despite its huge potential.

"Music is free in China – Nokia’s offer is like legalising cannabis in Holland," said John Strand, CEO of Strand Consult, a consultancy company.

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