Nokia's Comes With Music heads to Australia

Performing rights groups sign licensing agreement

BRISBANE, Australia --  Nokia's Comes With Music service should arrive in Australia this month, following a groundbreaking licensing arrangement struck with the Australasian Performing Right Association and sister organization the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society.

APRA and AMCOS have agreed to a blanket arrangement which enables Nokia access to the societies' repertoire of 10,000,000-plus songs, and sees royalty payments trickle back to rights holders.

"Our objective is to bring music creators and consumers together," APRA/AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle said in a statement. "The demand from Australian consumers for new digital music services is growing rapidly. Our aim is to accommodate that demand and translate it into new royalty streams for songwriters and publishers."

The U.K. was the launch market for the all-you-can-eat Comes With Music mobile subscription in October 2008 in partnership with all the majors, publishers plus key indie labels and distributors. In a keynote conversation last month at MidemNet in Cannes, Nokia's executive VP entertainment and communities Tero Ojanpera revealed a "breakthrough" in licensing negotiations that will enable the service to roll out across Europe in 2009.

Comes with Music will arrive in Australia and Singapore this quarter. According to reports, the service will also land in North America this year.
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