SAN FRANCISCO—Last week, Nokia announced it will launch Comes With Music in the United Kingdom in partnership with more than 800 Carphone Warehouse stores. So when is it coming to the United States?
Nokia hasn’t yet answered that question, but it’s starting first in the United Kingdom for several reasons. The digital market in the United Kingdom is highly mature, Nokia has relationships with labels there and the infrastructure is in place, according to Paul Smith, head of Major Label Relations at Nokia, who spoke during a keynote at Mobile Entertainment Live! yesterday. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Nokia’s handset market share is much higher there than in the U.S. market.
Another keynoter on stage with Smith was bullish on Nokia’s endeavors. Michael Nash, executive vice president of Digital Strategy & Business Development for Warner Music Group, said it’s about making scale happen, as opposed to a lot of the ala carte offerings out there now. “I think you’re going to see scale achieved with this type of approach,” he said.
Smith also noted that Nokia last year announced it wants to become an Internet company, and the stand-alone businesses such as Comes With Music, as well as other services such as gaming and mapping, are areas where Nokia intends to become profitable.
The United States is a key market for Nokia, but the company wants to make sure it offers the right content deals for the region and localization will play a role, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, he said. “We will be there when we’re ready to be there.”