Nokia Music Store: mike testing in India

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An update on my Nokia phone installed Nokia Music and along with it the Nokia Music Store (no Mac support as yet) on my PC.  I have seen the vast music collection in the US and UK stores of iTunes and hoped that one day such a collection will be available in it’s Indian store. I was intrigued to see what the Nokia Music Store had on offer. One is greeted with labels & titles from several Indian music companies including some regional ones.

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Image source: Medianama

But the installation and the start up weren’t without glitches. The installation itself took an awful lot of time and when my phone was connected I could not transfer some songs into it – I got an error message. I then proceeded to check the purchase option of some songs. I was asked to register first. After logging in, I was asked to enter a PIN in order to purchase a song. I had no clue where to get a PIN.

I then went on the net and discovered that this is a test service and the payment options are being worked. Credit cards aren’t an option yet and it appears that vouchers which come along with ‘Comes with Music’ Nokia handsets carry the PIN. More details here and here. Some random thoughts on this:

– I thought iTunes Store had a great opportunity with Music in India. In terms of sheer variety on offer, Indian music is perhaps unparalleled. Mainstream Hindi cinema, regional language cinema, devotional songs, ghazals, International music – the list is virtually endless. The iPod consumer would have been a viable potential audience for that kind of service, given the ease of use and music management. But Apple doesn’t seem to care for the Indian market.
– The lack of an iTunes Music Store is an opportunity for players like Nokia who already have a huge installed base (even with their music supporting devices, I presume). If they lick the ‘ease of use’ issue in terms of music purchase they will be on a strong wicket. Issues abound though, as outlined by Medianama.
– Nokia has ambitions beyond mere handset manufacture as is evident with their push on Ovi. They would like to have a share of the entire mobile experience (a recent firmware update on my phone had Nokia Mail installed in it) including maps and music.
– if the service is in Beta stage and payment mechanisms haven’t been sorted out to offer a seamless consumer experience, some PR prior to the launch would have helped to manage expectations
– the iTunes-way of managing music, photos and movies seems far more seamless and integrated as of now

With the excitement on mobile handsets continuing in India, the direct to consumer approach by Nokia seems to hold much potential. Music to your ears?

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