Amazon Coming To Europe, Is The Nokia Music Store Ready?

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Competition for Nokia's Music Store perhaps? Amazon have announced the expected expansion of their DRM-Free MP3 Store from the American market into international territories will happen in 2008, although the press release does not give any indication of when this will happen. Thanks to the MP3 format, pretty much any smartphone should be able to handle Amazon downloaded songs, as opposed to the DRM restrictions Nokia's Windows Media based store will have; and Nokia's in-device advantage is limited to a subset of N-Series devices.

The territorial nature of music publishing is also coming into play here - the Nokia Store is not available in the US, likewise the Amazon store is not available anywhere but the US. It's going to lead to an interesting market for the consumers, and awareness of the product is going to be critical. Nokia have previously mentioned that the take-uprate of the Nokia Music Store is on the order of 20% of the user base. Of course Amazon will have no direct way of determining who is taking the DRM free MP3 tunes and putting them on a mobile device, but I'm sure they'll have a survey when the time is right,

It would be interesting to see Apple's numbers of iPhone (and iPod Touch) users that are accessing iTunes from their handset as well, as opposed to those sideloading.

No matter the numbers through, it looks like a number of service providers and manufacturers are drawing up some rules of engagement for a musical war in your handset - which can only be of benefit to the consumer in 2008.

Read Amazon's full press release.

"We have received thousands of e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking us when we will make Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S. They can't wait to choose from the biggest selection of high-quality, low-priced DRM-free MP3 music downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future," said Bill Carr, Vice President of Digital Music. "We are excited to tell those customers today that Amazon MP3 is going international this year."