Nokia’s free Ovi Music suffered a harsh blow on Monday when the cell phone maker dropped support for the service in 27 of the 33 countries where it had been offered. The company didn’t say exactly why it implemented the drastic scale-back in the potential iTunes Store competitor, but did hint that the DRM requirements imposed by labels was at least partly to blame, according to Reuters.
“The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service,” commented a Nokia spokesperson.
Ovi Music: Not dead yet
While consumers in most countries won’t be able to get in on the free Ovi Music service when they buy compatible phones, shoppers in China, India and Indonesia can still get 12-month subscriptions. Customers in Brazil, South Africa and Turkey can get six month subscriptions to the service, too.
Apparently the record labels insisted Nokia use Microsoft’s Windows Media copy protection. Consumers, however, aren’t excited about companies restricting how they listen to music.
While the free Ovi Music service looks to be on its way out, Nokia’s pay-by-the-song service is still available in 38 countries.