Nokia ends free music bundling in 27 countries
OVI music store has not been as popular as was first hoped
Nokia is ending the bundling of free music downloads on new cellphones in 27 different countries, according to Reuters.
The OVI music store, originally designed to rival iTunes has not been as popular as the company had hoped.
However, the OVI music store is not shutting down completely and Nokia will continue to sell phones with a 12 month subscription to free music in China, India and Indonesia and with six month subscriptions in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.
Vivendi's Universal Music, EMI, Warner Music Group and the music arm of Sony signed up for the OVI music service when it was launched in 2008 in Britain. The platform was seen as a major challenger to iTunes.
Since its launch, the service has lacked customer and operator support because of its reliance on digital rights management (DRM) software that tied downloaded music to the device and a difficult to understand product offering.
"The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service," said a spokesman for Nokia, adding the firm continues to offer DRM-free tracks through its music store in 38 countries.
Nokia users in the 27 countries where the sale of the service has been halted will continue to have access to free music until their subscriptions run out.