In Nokia

If someone told me that there is a place where I can download all the music I want for free, I’d have guessed it to be ThePirateBay or one of those torrent sites. But if they told me that I can download all the music I want for free LEGALLY, I’d be stumped for an answer. And then if they told me that, *THAT* place is, I would’ve been gobsmacked. And that’s exactly what I heard at the Nokia Remix in London.

If you buy any of the latest N95, XpressMusic 5310, or the latest 5800, you get the candybar opened up all for you. For the next one year, you get to download as many songs as you want and get to keep them for life.

Now, you’ll realize the importance of this when you look at the kind of people offering this music. Take a look. Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music, EMI, The Ministry of Sound. Gosh, do you realise what you are reading? These are the biggest music companies in the world. Between them, you have pretty much the entire list of big name artists.

Let me throw you a real-life example, just so you understand this well. You go to a cell phone shop, let’s say ‘The Mobile Store’ in Spencers Plaza. When you make the payment for the phone, the lady at the counter says that there is a ‘Free Gift’ that comes with the phone. And that free gift is that you can walk into Landmark, Odyssey or any music store in India, and pick up any CD or cassettes you want. Yes, there’s no limit. You can fill up your car’s entire trunk and if that gets filled, you can fill up the back seat too. That’s not all.You can come back to the store everyday, if you want, and continue the swindling. All this is legal and the securiity guard will let you go with a bow and a smile.

Now, why would Nokia and the Music companies want to give away the music for free? Considering that Nokia sold an estimated 100 crore music phones, isn’t the music companies going to lose billions of dollars?

Look beyond the obvious. Lets first look at Nokia’s angle. It’s a coup de grace. The BEST ever marketing strategy that I have heard this company do. They are giving you an offer you can’t refuse. And its an offer that the competitors cannot easily replicate. You can copy mobile phone features, but you can’t replicate relationships. And its never easy to do that with the world’s biggest music companies.

Another reason what Nokia wants to do is hook you. It wants you to get familiar with its music store, which is part of Nokia’s big business revenue strategy. One look at Apple’s iTunes success will tell you the reason why Nokia is after this market.

But Nokia knows that the majority of the folks don’t like paying for music. When you can get free music from torrent sites, why pay? Tell me about it! 🙂 And so they are taking piracy head on with the most potent weapon, the FREE. Now, there’s nothing holding back from downloading songs. Once you know how easy it is for you to use, you get comfortable first and then get hooked to it. So, when your one year free license expires, there’s a fair chance you might continue to pick up music by paying a reasonbaly small amounts of money. It may be small money for you but multiply that small money into multiple millions of users and suddently, you are looking at huge money. So that’s the strategy.

What’s in it for the music companies? Simple. They’ve realized that they can’t fight piracy. They know they are fighting a losing battle which they can never win. So, the smarter thing is to flow with the tide. They know that the days of buying CDs is gone. Internet is the future and the mobile phones will be the biggest gateway. Hence it makes sense to tie up with the world’s largest producer of mobile phones. They immediately get a fantastic distribution system. So, when the free period finishes, they can hope to share the revenue pie.
To me, Its a wonderful case of win-win-win situation.