Nokia's Push Into Content Services Off To Shaky Start - InformationWeek

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11/2/2007
12:19 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Nokia's Push Into Content Services Off To Shaky Start

Nokia was dealt a double blow today when two of its planned Internet Services products met with setbacks. The delay in launching its N-Gage gaming service isn't too severe, but the loss of Warner's catalog from the Nokia Music Store is more serious.

Nokia was dealt a double blow today when two of its planned Internet Services products met with setbacks. The delay in launching its N-Gage gaming service isn't too severe, but the loss of Warner's catalog from the Nokia Music Store is more serious.Back in August, Nokia held a media event in London and announced a bevy of new handsets, as well as its new goal to become a software and services provider. Under the umbrella brand name Ovi, the N-Gage gaming platform and Nokia Music Store were to be the first two products launched. The music store went live earlier this week, but the N-Gage service has been pushed back.

According to Nokia's Kari Tutti, the N-Gage delay is only a matter of weeks, not months. Some software testing is getting in the way. No biggie. Nokia will have the service up and running in December, assures Tutti.

For now, the bigger problem is the Nokia Music Store. As of launch time, it is only compatible on a few handsets. That alone guarantees it will get off to a slow start. Tutti mentioned that the store launched with over 2 million tracks, which is one-third of the iTunes Music Store's 6 million tracks. But Warner Music pulled its catalog of songs from the Nokia Music Store at the last minute. The problem? Warner is concerned about illegal downloads at Nokia's Mosh content sharing site.

Warner's concerns are probably warranted, and Nokia says it is doing everything it can to prevent copyrighted content from being distributed illegally through Mosh.

Music stores can only succeed if they have the content that people want to buy. Sure, 2 million tracks is not a shabby library to offer, but Warner has many, many more to add if the two companies can work things out. If not, customers will find other places to purchase Warner content, it's that simple. On the flip side, Warner has to remember that it is being given a chance to sell its content through a legitimate service.

If you ask me, Warner could be a little bit forgiving and work with Nokia actively to make sure its content isn't being traded illegally.

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