Nokia’s new music streaming service will be launched in South Africa before the end of March, a spokesman for the company’s local subsidiary said on Monday.
On Sunday, the Finnish company announced the launch of Nokia Music+, offering about 15m songs for a monthly subscription fee that is far below rival services such as Spotify, Simfy, Deezer and Rara.com.
The service will cost US$3,99/month in the US or €3,99 in Europe. Nokia South Africa spokesman Leo McKay says the service will cost about the same locally as internationally, though rand pricing hasn’t yet been finalised.
Nokia Music+ is effectively an upgrade to the free Mix Radio service the company launched last year. Unlike Mix Radio, which will continue to be available free of charge to users of Nokia’s Lumia devices, Nokia Music+ will offer unlimited song skips and track downloads.
“This is for people who care enough about music to pay something for more quality and choice, but don’t want to pay €9,99 monthly,” says Nokia entertainment vice-president Jryki Rosenberg in a blog post on the company’s website.
The service will also offer higher-quality audio files than the free Mix Radio, according to Nokia. It will be available on desktop computers through a Web application, too.
Nokia Music+ will start being rolled in the “next few weeks”. It comes at the same time that Microsoft is expected to launch Xbox Music in South Africa. Xbox Music was expected to be launched by the end of last year, but was delayed for what South African MD Mteto Nyati described as “technical challenges”.