If you have been enjoying the free music downloads on Nokia Ovi Music unlimited, here is some bad news. The Finland based company has decided to pull the plug on unlimited free music in as many as 27 countries. The Nokia Ovi Music Unlimited service was launched in 2008 in partnership with popular music labels like Vivendi, EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony, and was seen as a viable alternative to Apple’s iTunes.
While not much information has been revealed about the reason for discontinuation, the company has noted that lack of interest in music tied with DRM is one of the primary reasons. DRM-free tracks will continue to be sold in all 38 countries Nokia Ovi is available on.
There is however a silver lining here if you are from India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey or South Africa. Nokia Ovi users in India, China and Indonesia will continue to enjoy 12 month free music subscription while those in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa will enjoy six months’ subscription.
If you are a user in one of the countries where the service has been plugged, do note that existing tracks will continue to be available. It is the newer tracks that you will be unable to download.
As announced earlier this year, Sony has launched its new music subscription service named “Sony Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity“. The service was unveiled back in September this year which Sony Europe President Fujio Nishida described as a “cloud-based digital music streaming service that gives music lovers access to millions of tracks stored and synced with your devices”.
The service has initially launched just in the UK and Ireland. According to an announcement from the company yesterday, the Sony Music Unlimited service is expected to extend to U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand next year.
Although, the feature is not too different from iTunes at the moment, Kazuo Hirai, the executive vice president of Sony has said that they expect the product to stand on its own in a few years time. He has confided that “playing catch-up” with iTunes could make it difficult for the product to find appeal among users.
Yesterday was a great day for media. Not only did Apple make announcements on the iPod, iTunes and Apple TV front, Amazon too announced their new Video-On-Demand service. In addition to these major announcements, Sony unveiled their new cloud-based music streaming service called ‘Music Unlimited‘.
Announcing the new service, Fujio Nishida, the president of Sony Europe said,
“It is a cloud-based digital music streaming service that gives music lovers access to millions of tracks stored and synced with your devices”
This is not Sony’s only media on demand service. The company already runs the Qriocity video-on-demand service. The Music Unlimited service will open up most of Sony’s consumer electronics products including mobile phones and MP3 players into platforms to access the music streaming service. However, with 3G access being erratic and in some cases even expensive, do not expect the service to become proliferate across the globe.
The new Sony Music Unlimited service is expected to launch by the end of this year and the pricing details will be announced moving forward.