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Nokia Ends Ovi Music Bundling In Most Markets; Launches Hindi Ovi Store

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Nokia is ending its bundled Ovi Music Unlimited offering in most markets across the world, but will continue with 12 month subscriptions in India, reports Reuters. Ovi Music Unlimited, Nokia’s answer to Apple iTunes, offers consumers in India 12 months of access to 4 million DRM protected songs.

The service, which will phased out in 27 countries, will also continue in China, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa. As per a recent PTI report, the service offers four million tracks from across 19 genres, in partnership with Indian Music Industry (IMI) and Hungama, among others. Readers should note that Hungama has its own music download service at Hungama.com, with DRM protected music. Ovi Music Unlimited was launched in India in April last year, which, if you look at it in the context of the Reuters report, makes the timing of the PTI report appear rather odd.

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Nokia has also launched the Ovi Store in Hindi for users of some of its Series 40 handsets – like the Nokia X3-02 or Nokia C3-01, the Nokia 6300, and updated its web and mobile web interface as well, the company said in a blog post. Subsequently, the language interface will also be launched for its new Symbian devices.

We tried the Ovi Store on a Nokia X3-02 and found that – despite updating the Ovi Store – the Hindi interface was not available for the mobile application. It it did work for the mobile Web, and the web. Currently, Hindi is the only Indic language available for the Ovi Store. The Ovi Store, however, does allow users to choose from Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bangla and Tamil in their account settings, even though this doesn’t impact the interface. Perhaps Nokia is gathering data on preferred languages: it will need to expand its language base for the Ovi Store to go beyond the English speaking population in India.

But the real question is – how many Indic language apps does Nokia host on the Ovi Store? When we tried the Hindi Language interface, Nokia did not show any Hindi apps to us. What’s the point of an Indic language interface for the Ovi Store, when you don’t show apps in that language? Or, is it that there aren’t any?

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The lower cost Series 40 handsets are a focus area for Nokia: in India, the company launched Nokia Listings for targeting the S40 users, and India should be a part of its plan for the Ovi Browser.

Related:
Hungama To Sell Music Coupons At Sify Cyber Cafes
Mobile Browser BOLT To Launch Support For 9 Indian Languages
The India Mobile Handset Reports Confusion: G’Five Number Two; Samsung Disputes IDC Info

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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