Sony BMG Joins Nokia’s Comes With Music Program

Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG is the second record label to join Nokia’s (NYSE: NOK) Comes With Music pre-bundled music initiative. At a London joint press conference, the pair said Nokia handset customers would get free unlimited access to the label’s repertoire “for an entire year” before having to upgrade their device. Sony BMG digital president Thomas Hesse: “We think the habit will stay with users when the year is up.” What might work against the plan – the increasing trend for 18-month mobile contracts. Nokia EVP Tero Ojanperä said Nokia was discussing that issue with carriers. “We want to align the business model with the partners. Comes With Music was unveiled with repertoire from Universal in December and is due on handsets in the second half of ’08.

We were told Sony BMG was expected to sign up within days of the Universal announcement, but the pair have not been able to make the deal stick until now. Last week, we were told Nokia is paying Universal $33.50 per handset for the privilege, up to 2.5 million handsets. EMI wants in, too. Ojanperä said handset pricepoints are not yet fixed and there will be “more than one, and more than two”. But each refused to detail the business model; Ojanperä: “There will be money for us, and Thomas’ company and money to share with the creators.” More detail on our sister site