Nokia's Dr Tero Ojanpera, EVP entertainment and communities, delivered an optimistic keynote at day one of MidemNet, revealing a "breakthrough" in licensing negotiations that will enable the service to roll out across Europe in 2009.

So far the all-you-can-eat service on pre-licensed handsets has launched in the U.K., in October 2008, in partnership with all the majors, publishers and various indie labels and distributors.

During the interview with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, Ojanpera confirmed that Comes With Music will launch in Australia and Singapore in the next ten weeks.

"They are great markets for Nokia," said Ojanpera. "They are very active in music. We have been able to do all the agreements we need. It's not only about the licenses from the music companies, we need to deal with the publishers, operators and retail partners."

During the interview, Werde identified that Comes With Music had "generated a lot of hope" in the biz. Ojanpera responded by emphasizing Nokia's commitment to the service as one that will provide a "meaningful" return for the Finnish mobile vendor.

"We are also looking at a European roll out in all the big European countries," he said. "2009 will be a very big investment on our part with the music. Marketing will be a very critical element."

He added that the response in the industry "has been very positive, we are doing something unique," and described a process involving "hundreds of deals" to get the "rich selection [of music] for every country."

Subject to agreements, Ojanpera also described a breakthrough in the deal-making process in Europe. "We've secured pan-European licensing with publishers and collecting societies," he said, adding that "everyone understands that the business needs to move forward and the digital business is where the growth is coming from."

In the U.K., the handset price of the 5310 launch handset was recently cut from £127.10 ($187.23) to £82.18 ($121.06) at retail partner the Carphone Warehouse. Ojanpera insisted that Nokia had a "good experience" with the service in the U.K., and said the plan for the service was about "expanding the device base," with a new 5800 touch screen device to launch on Jan. 23.

He did admit that some people who buy Comes With Music handsets "miss the offer completely" and don't actually take advantage of the unlimited music available. However, he believes the general pattern of consumption, with some using a little and others a lot, was validating the company's research.

Ojanpera said Nokia takes a "long term view of everything we do," although he identified a two-year period as the point when they would assess its success.

Speaking more generally about Nokia's areas of business, he said the mobile vendor was now an "entertainment company" supplying music, gaming and media. Other music-related offerings include the Independent Artists Club in Asia, a marketing opportunity for unsigned acts, and editorial content on its mapping services.

Ojanpera also confirmed the development of Nokia's "Point & Find" image-recognition application, which would allow users to point the camera at products on posters, including music, and then download over-the-air.

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