NEW YORK - Sony BMG is joining Universal Music Group in allowing users of select Nokia mobile phones access to its entire music catalog later this year.
Nokia Corp.'s "Comes With Music" program will allow users who buy select cell phone models to download any song from Sony BMG's catalog onto their phone or their computers during the first 12 months of owning such a device. Nokia announced a partnership with Universal last fall, and now has brought Sony BMG aboard.
"When you give consumers the key to the candy store without any limitations, there's a lot more opportunity for discovering music that you might not have found before," Thomas Hesse, president of global digital business and U.S. sales for Sony BMG Music Entertainment, told The Associated Press on Monday. "We think this will energize the discovery of music."
Nokia said the phones should be available in the U.S. by the second half of this year. While fans would be able to download an unlimited number of songs by way of their phone or on their computer from hundreds of thousands of tracks, they would not be able to burn the music to a CD or use it with iTunes, Hesse said. However, after the year is over, the music fan can keep the music.
"It's not like some other subscription services where you lose everything," said Tero Ojanpera, Nokia's executive vice president, entertainment and communities. "Here you can keep everything. This is like really getting access to a store where you can really now explore freely."
Ojanpera didn't disclose the price range for the phones, but said they would vary according to the model.