Nokia (NOK) has added another record label to its “Comes With Music” program, which should launch later this year. Warner Music Group (WMG) is the latest to sign on; it joins Sony BMG and Universal. EMI isn’t officially on board yet, but said in March it wouldn’t miss Nokia’s launch.
Assuming EMI doesn’t bail, Nokia will launch with support from all four major labels — a good start. Comes With Music will be bundled with phones and will come with a free one-year trial.
Key unknowns, as Michael Learmonth wrote in April: How much Warner, and the other labels, will charge Nokia for their participation — and how much of that cost Nokia will pass on to consumers. Nokia is widely reported to be paying Universal in the neighbourhood of $34 per phone for access to the music, a figure Nokia denies.
Also unknown: How far along Apple (AAPL) is on its own all-you-can-eat subscription service for iTunes (and, by extension, the iPhone). Yesterday, Rhapsody announced a new subscription-based music service and an over-the-air MP3 download service for Verizon Wireless phones. Rhapsody is a joint venture between RealNetworks (RNWK) and Viacom’s (VIAB) MTV Networks.