Nokia keeps its race with Apple to reach agreements with the record labels, in order to bundle content with the sale of devices.
NY Times, Nokia signs Sony BMG for Free Music Offering, reports that Nokia will offer 12-month access to music downloads from SonyBMG catalog, to buyers of Nokia music phones. What is new, is that users will be able to keep all the music they have downloaded during the twelve months. Nokia call this initiative “Comes With Music”, and is expected to be available in the second half of 2008.
The good news is that record labels seem to finally understand that CDs will soon die, and are looking for new models to survive.
Going to a model where music is bundled with a device, instead of with a service, shows how consumers are still reluctant to pay for intangibles, but are ready to pay when they get something physical in return. That also happens in the software world. Microsoft has most of its software sales to consumers come bundled with new PCs. Adobe bundles Photoshop with Canon scanners and Nero comes with many DVD recorders. Consumers are ready to pay a bit more for a scanner and get in return Photoshop too. But buying stand-alone software is still rare in consumers.
Apple and Nokia know well the consumer behavior, and want to use the bundle model to better sell music (and their devices).