"Comes With Music" Is Record Label Piracy

Sony BMG has agreed to allow Nokia to get access to its entire catalog following the lead of the largest label aggregator Universal Music.

The labels' "Comes With Music" program lets users who buy certain cell phone models download any song from the participating record company catalog to their cell phone or computer for the first 12 months.

Universal gets $35 per phone. No word on Sony BMG's take.

The cost to the consumer is likely to be higher -- what else did you expect -- although Nokia says it is eating some of the cost of providing the music as part of the cell phone purchase.

But "Comes With Music" comes with potential added costs to the consumer.

Word is that "Comes With Music" will not have an endless supply of pre-paid music because after the first year consumers will either have to pay for a new subscription or -- get this -- buy a new phone.

If this isn't appealing enough -- to record executives, that is -- they will include digital rights management (DRM) that will make it impossible to burn tracks on a CD unless the consumer pays yet another extra charge.

Even teens with lots of their parent's money don't replace their phones every year.

And no one that age likes to pay for any subscriptions.

Take away the ability to use and share your music at will and you have not just laid a big fat egg for this next generation but you've insulted your music buying public at the same time.

What a loser. In an off way it's the major labels looking to steal from law-abiding consumers while music pirates will no doubt continue to steal.

Only a record executive could like this deal which is why I am predicting that the results will be unremarkable. One of the reasons is that the deal has too much of what the labels want and not enough of what the consumer wants -- a sure formula for failure.

This is symptomatic of how media executives these days misread their consumers.

Of course, Steve Jobs wouldn't do that.

He'd come up with something cool and desirable and then he'd charge as much money as he could get away with. The people in charge can't seem to get a grip on what will ignite the market that they constantly disappoint. Either that, or they won't.

A major reason why "Comes With Music" is a non-starter is because the next generations computers already comes with music -- music they steal.

And it's all DRM-free.

They can share it. Burn it. Use it just like their parents used to do when they bought vinyl.

To have a chance with Gen Y, the labels need to make their all-you-can-eat music plan seamless. They must be sharable and include no fees or renewed subscription rates.

Even at that -- I am not convinced these total library devices will succeed even if all the major labels get on board.

I know it seems hard to believe.

Who wouldn't want everything ever recorded for a low, reasonable price -- with the ability to share it with others included?

The next generation -- that's who.

They already have their workaround for recorded music and paying for subscriptions or one-year fees won't be appealing.

So it's likely that at the one-year mark when those "Comes With Music" renewal fees kick in you won't be hearing much about this very flawed concept.

This time, the labels dastardly nemesis, Steve Jobs, didn't do them in.

The labels with the cooperation of some clueless cell phone manufacturers did it to themselves.

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