Nokia (NOK) landed another major label for its “Comes With Music” subscription service that will be bundled with new phones starting in the second half of 2008. Sony BMG joins Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and likely EMI in the service, which Nokia plans to give away to subscribers for the first year. Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony (SNE) and Bertelsmann, is home to artists including Beyonce, Leona Lewis and Bruce Springsteen.
Sony BMG digital president said the free one-year trial is to get people hooked. “We think the habit will stay with people when the year is up,” he said.
Key unknowns: How much Sony BMG, and the other labels, will charge Nokia for the privilege — 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 handset for access to the music, a figure Nokia denies.
Also unknown: How far along Apple (APPL) is on its own all-you-can-eat subscription service for iTunes (and, by extension, the iPhone).
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