Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has launched a music service in the Asia Pacific region intended to help local artists reach a global audicence. The Independent Artists Club Web site will start in Singapore and Thailand first, before being rolled out over the next six months to selected Asia-Pacific countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand reports CNet. People can preview songs and download MP3s, and naturally can also do this from their mobile handsets. Nokia users get 10 free tracks per month, while users of other handsets only get five.
Still on Nokia, Forbes has a particularly good piece on the company and its move into becoming a media company, as well as moves to repair its relatively poor perfomance in the US, which could net it an extra $5 billion a year. The way the article reads Nokia was waiting for the US to catch up with the rest of the world and sell handsets the same way — and the US just didn’t do that, it continued signing people up to long-term contracts by subsidizing low-end handsets. “This is why Nokia sells phones at a higher average price in poorer countries like China than it does in the U.S. Outside the U.S. Nokia sells half of its phones through retail shops run independently of the operators.” Nokia is now focusing on selling to the big US carriers the way they want to be sold to.