Update 2: Nokia India has sent in the following statement to Medianama:
“Nokia Music remains hugely committed to provide Indian consumers with a great music service today and in the future. We continue to innovate around an easy to use mobile service with increased focus on personalised music streaming. We communicated the ramp down of desktop downloads in India back in 2011 as part of our mobile first strategy. We will continue to invest significantly in the success of Nokia Music in India.”
Update: While Nokia is yet to respond to our queries, a company spokesperson has told BGR.in that they were running the website and desktop client in maintenance mode until yesterday, although it had switched to a mobile only subscription plans for new subscribers in December 2011.
The spokesperson also added that until yesterday, Nokia was supporting users who had subscriptions prior to December 2011, but with those subscriptions coming to an end, it shut down the online store and pulled the desktop client.
According to a note on the Nokia Music store website (copy below), users can no longer download music from Nokia Music’s online store or its desktop client and the service will now be available only on Nokia Music Unlimited compatible phones. To download new music and listen to Mix radio, users will need to have an active Nokia Music Unlimited subscription, which is currently available only with a purchase of select Nokia phones or through Oxicash. We have contacted Nokia India for more information on this and will update once we get a response.
Launched in July 2009, Nokia Music store offered songs across various genres like Bollywood, Regional, Devotional, Ghazal/Sufi, Indian Classical, and Indipop from Indian labels/producers like Yash Raj Films, Universal Music, Saregama, Sony BMG, T-Series, BigMusic and regional labels like Ramaa Communication, Gitaa Cassettes and Catrack Entertainment.
In April 2010, Nokia had introduced Ovi Music Unlimited service (now Nokia Music Unlimited), which allowed users to download DRM locked songs for one entire year with a purchase of select new Nokia devices and keep the music even after the completion of one year. Nokia had also extended Nokia Music Unlimited for Series 40 Phones in November 2011 and the service went DRM-free a month later. It also offered a desktop music player for the Windows platform called Nokia Music Player, which seems to have been pulled now.
With this development, Apple’s iTunes store now seems to be the only prominent paid music download service left, although there are players like NH7 and Musicfellas which focuses on Independent music, and Saregama which offers music downloads on its website. Earlier this year, E-commerce major Flipkart had also pulled the plug on its paid music download service Flyte Music, citing various issues like music piracy and lack of micro payments among others, although from what we’ve heard, they didn’t back it adequately. This begs the question if a DRM free digital music download service will work in India or music streaming sites like Gaana, Dhingana and Saavn which offer paid subscriptions for offline access, is the way ahead for digital music businesses.
Nokia Music India Timeline
– November 2008: Anssi Vanjoki, then EVP of Nokia, had launched a beta version of Nokia Music Store.
– July 2009: Nokia Music store went live in India and offered DRM locked songs across various genres like Bollywood, Regional, Devotional and others.
– April 2010: Nokia launched Ovi Music Unlimited service (now Nokia Music Unlimited) in India, which allowed users to download DRM locked songs for one entire year with a purchase of select new Nokia devices and keep the music even after the completion of one year.
– January 2011: Nokia discontinued discontinued Ovi Music Unlimited in 27 countries in January 2011, citing lack of traction and announced that it will continue to offer 12-month subscriptions only in China, India and Indonesia and 6 month subscriptions in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.
– November 2011: Nokia extended Nokia Music Unlimited to Series 40 Phones.
– April 2012: Nokia partnered payment solution provider Oxigen to allow users to renew their Nokia music subscription.
– July 2013: Nokia rolled out music store and mix radio app on Windows Phone based Lumia smartphones (via BGR.in)
– September 2012: D Shivakumar, then Senior Vice President (India, Middle East, Asia), Nokia had claimed Nokia Music Store currently has 41 lakh songs in its catalog and it has digitized 70% of the songs released in the past 100 years till now.
– November 2012: Nokia partnered Vodafone and Idea to provide operator billing for its music service to Vodafone and Idea subscribers.
– July 2013: Nokia started preloading its free music streaming service Mix Radio with Nokia Music to select Asha smartphones like Nokia Asha 305, 308, 310 and 311.
Notice on Nokia Music India Website
Updates: Added Nokia Music India timeline