Death Of Nokia's 'Comes With Music' Shows That 'Free' With DRM Is A Losing Proposition

from the dead-and-buried dept

This is from a little while ago, but I'm just catching up on some older stories. Reader Rabbit80 points us to the news that Nokia has finally put its "Comes with Music" program out of its misery and shut it down. Comes with Music was actually an interesting idea: you buy a phone and for 12 months you get free music downloads. At a conceptual level, this sounds great: you're using the abundant (free music!) to make the scarce (mobile phone!) more valuable. But, like everything, a good idea can be marred by the execution. And, in this case, the execution involved the major record labels demanding that "Comes with Music" really mean "Comes with DRM'd Music." A year and a half ago we pointed out that Comes With Music was really getting very little uptake, and the decision to kill it off just confirms how weak the pickup was.

Nokia says that it was the DRM that was the real killer:
"The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service."
And, of course, there was nothing stopping the labels from allowing a DRM-free service, but they still have this infatuation with DRM, even though they finally came around to ditching the DRM on MP3 sales.

That said, this little real world experiment once again seems to highlight how the claim that "people just want stuff for free" is a myth. Here was a case where people could get the music they wanted for free... but it came limited and so they weren't interested. It's rarely about people just wanting stuff for free. It's often about the restrictions or the convenience of things. The price is nice, but it's rarely the key factor, despite what some industry folks would like to claim.

Filed Under: drm, free, music
Companies: nokia

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  1. icon
    chris (profile), 17 Feb 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We have that system already. It's called netflix.

    i've used netflix for a couple of years, and it sucks compared to bit torrent: lousy selection, poor video quality on streaming, and every time i want to watch something i have to wait for it to buffer. it's only benefit is it's ability to deliver recommendations for random stuff. also there's that whole 28 day wait on new releases. so it's fine for random thing, but the bulk of my video watching is via bit torrent.

    The best part is that you don't have to wait days for a download to come, you don't have to risk getting a virus, and you don't have to worry about answering lawsuits.

    have you ever used BT? a popular TV show, 350-500mb in size, with a thousand seeders, will download for me in less than half an hour. less than 10 minutes if it's my only active torrent, but that almost never happens cuz i pretty much always have dozens going.

    i use RSS feeds to download new releases automatically. they just show up on my server, kind of like TIVO :-)

    as for viruses, you don't know shit about filesharing.

    copies are put out by groups, known as release groups, and those guys have reputations to maintain (i recommend FXG, kingdom, or aXXo). viruses, fakes and other nonsense trashes your reputation. it's a community, people take care of each other.

    the closest i've come to a virus is a false positive on a keygen or other crack for a video game.

    and for lawsuits? i got a couple of DMCA warnings in the beginning before i learned how to stay under the radar. it isn't hard to do thanks to private trackers, block lists and encrypted connections, it's just inconvenient and it slows things down. building ratio on a private tracker is always tough.

    if i had a pass i could buy, my downloads would be faster and the people that snoop could collect nielesn ratings type statistics.

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