Nokia Music to be acquired by Microsoft but what will it mean for subscribers?

Nokia not only sells Lumia smartphones that use Windows Phone, it also lets owners of those phones access its own in-house Nokia Music online service. It first launched in Europe and came to the U.S. in September 2012. It started as a free streaming music service that allowed Lumia owners to listen to millions of music tracks.

In early 2013, Nokia Music+ launched, which let Lumia owners access unlimited downloads of songs, among other features, for just $3.99 a month, which is much cheaper than Microsoft's own Xbox Music service, which costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

Now that Microsoft is slated to acquire Nokia's smartphone business, we wondered what that meant for Lumia owners who are signed up to use Nokia Music and Music+. We contacted the company and received this statement from a spokesperson:

Nokia Music is part of the Smart Devices business and hence part of this deal. It’s business as usual for the near term as the agreement was only announced on Tuesday, and the closing is expected to take place in Q1 2014. As the closing of the deal approaches, we’ll be able to share more information on future plans.

It's more than possible that Nokia Music could shut down once the deal with Microsoft is closed, and if that happens Lumia owners will lose out on the cheap Nokia Music+ service. We will certainly post any updates as we learn more about the ultimate fate of Nokia Music in the coming weeks and months.

Image via Nokia

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36 Comments

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two different services, nokia music is radio style - i.e. you cant choose to play a specific song
xbox music is store style, - i.e. you can choose to play any songs in any order

but for 8.99 a month you can play any available song unlimited times from the xbox music store. for 3.99 from nokia you cant choose the song

Nokia Music has a much, much better selection of Bollywood Soundtracks, particularly pre-2010. The Xbox Music selection is pretty poor for Bollywood Music.

I requested this last Week on the Microsoft Forums. Hopefully they do merge the services

Here we go again. It should remove waste long term, I never understood why Nokia was competing with MS in such areas.

Torolol said,

That would mean Zune mk.II, and the same fate will surely follow.

Still using my Zune HD with Xbox Music so what fate you talking about?

There is still a lot of details that we don' know. Lets wait till the deal is finalized before we jump into hasty conclusions.

I'm enjoying the FREE Nokia Music on my Lumia 822. if Microsoft is so retarded to remove this option from NOKIA Music I'm not buying any Windows Phone again.

Redmond is full of it if they think Xbox Music is a better option than Nokia Music

TheCyberKnight said,
You have no clue what you're talking about. These two services are completely different.

Read the posts above, learn and chill out.


this is how trolls post comment , since they are busy trolling they don't have time to read the article

Merge the services and have a tiered music service :
free 10h streaming (like in windows 8)
radio style with offline for 3.99 or equivalent (xbox radio)
full download for 9.99 (xbox music pass)

And make it available across all devices of the ecosystem (i.e. not like today where xbox music on phones = ZERO unless you have a pass + remove gold subscription requirement for Xbox)

Now that would make WAY TOO MUCH SENSE for a company like MS so this is never going to happen.

Well, now nokia owner is countries like India get a annual free subscription with their device with unlimited drm free music downloads..

Now how will MS beat that?! It does not even have xbox music here!

It's best to just fold it into Xbox Music and make it a new base price since it's different than Xbox Music in a way iirc.

Either way, I personally can't get access to either in my country so I'd hope that MS will at least try to expand it's services to more markets again. It's these services that will help also sell things like Surface and Xbox hardware.

Only problem with merging with Xbox music is that is total crap and overpriced. Just another bad consequence of this rotten deal.

efjay said,
Only problem with merging with Xbox music is that is total crap and overpriced. Just another bad consequence of this rotten deal.

I think the service itself, the pass, is fine, isn't it $10 a month for unlimited streaming? I don't know why that'd be bad. Besides isn't the Nokia music just a preset playlist that they change up from time to time? You don't have direct control over what you hear, at least not for the free base version. I don't know the details about Nokia Music +.

The $10/month or $99/year is not only for streaming. You can download unlimited amount of music on up to 4 devices.

And unlike Nokia Music, this is not for "Radio" style music with channels. You can get any single album you want.

This is by far the best music discovery offer. Several of my friends and I do subscribe since it has been available in our country.

Nokia Music + allows your own playlists with your chosen songs/albums/artists. And you can download this to your phone too. (I've downloaded a couple of mixes a few months ago that have individual songs listed in my play all list)

"Nokia Music could shut down once the deal with Microsoft is closed, and if that happens Lumia owners will lose out on the cheap Nokia Music+ service"

Not really. If Nokia Music has more favorable terms with the labels, perhaps Microsoft could grab those into their own Xbox Music portfolio. They'll most likely transfer Nokia Music+ subscribers to their Xbox Music Pass anyway. I don't think anyone will lose out here.

Rudy said,
The people who used to have the service for $3.99 will lose out because they'll have to pay more

Not likely. In the past when Xbox Music (and its predecessors) had any price increases, people on lower tiers were grandfathered in at the lower price.

pikablu0530 said,
"Nokia Music could shut down once the deal with Microsoft is closed, and if that happens Lumia owners will lose out on the cheap Nokia Music+ service"

Not really. If Nokia Music has more favorable terms with the labels, perhaps Microsoft could grab those into their own Xbox Music portfolio. They'll most likely transfer Nokia Music+ subscribers to their Xbox Music Pass anyway. I don't think anyone will lose out here.


It says "could."

Additionally, it's highly likely those label agreements can't be transferred to different services, as those services would have different terms (and Xbox Music does).

Rudy said,
The people who used to have the service for $3.99 will lose out because they'll have to pay more

It always amazes me how people foresee the future all painted black

These people have been "burned" by MSFT changes in the past. Foe example, Ofiten, Future actions can often be predicted by past actions by the same person or business. Action Pack cost went up some years back and at the same time moved to downloads only, TechNet shut down coming up leaving only a more expensive alternative, Office 2010 Home and Student Retial box could be activated on 3 PC's where Office 2013 Home and Student on only one.

The future is not painted black but people have no reason to believe that MSFT will not raise prices on them after acquiring Nokia Music. Whether they do or not remains to be seen.

If they are going to worsen Nokia services/apps on my 920, next phone surely won't be WP.
I went with the 920 (and thus WP8) almost solely because of Nokia backing it. And I fear the worst, especially for markets MS doesn't seem to care much about (anything but US of A)

Anthony Tosie said,
Additionally, it's highly likely those label agreements can't be transferred to different services, as those services would have different terms (and Xbox Music does).
Yep. About the only thing the labels are good at is hiring good lawyers.