Music to Nokia’s ears, after all the knock-backs. 3 has confirmed it is to range Nokia devices equipped with Nokia’s Comes With Music service, a manufacturer content play that has struggled to find any kind of support from UK networks so far.
You have got to wonder whether 3 is taking a cut of revenues as a sweetener in the deal, the pressure on its contract signing hand.
Sony Ericsson has, of course been less confrontational than Nokia in its foray into content provision. Its parallel offering, PlayNow Plus, has been squarely aimed to work with the networks and not leave them feeling left out – in other words giving them a slice of the pie.
Has Nokia had to backtrack and offer something more than a selling point to the networks?
When it was announced, the brand draw and promise of increased data traffic was all Nokia was dangling the networks. They didn’t exactly bite its hand off.
So what’s changed for 3?
A revenue share would go some way, in the short term, to dispel any concern that the old talk of networks becoming utility pipes in the face of proper media/content companies wading into mobile holds true.
But, there is surely life left in the networks’ battle to establish themselves as mobile content providers supreme.
Maybe 3 is simply playing out role of the challenger brand: decidedly cheesed off at the incumbent attitude towards number porting and termination rates, it has broken with the rest of the gang because it can, and also to make life difficult for them and support Nokia’s own content challenge.
For sure, 3 has jumped at the chance to offer something its rivals refuse to. And it is a shrewd move, afforded only outsider networks like 3. It could well gain some early market share from it.
Or, perhaps, 3 just wants to give its public as wide a choice of music offerings as possible, and doesn’t much care who the service sponsor is provided it is an excellent user experience. Pah.