Nokia launching free music service for Lumia

Nokia users will have access to millions of

Nokia users will have access to millions of songs on a free music service the Finnish company is creating for its smartphone Lumia. (Credit: Getty Images)

Nokia Oyj, the smartphone maker seeking to make a comeback in the U.S. market, said it will start a free music service that will work exclusively on its Lumia handsets.

Users will have access to millions of songs and can listen to playlists created by artists including Rihanna, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga, Nokia said Tuesday in a statement. The service carries no advertisements and requires no subscription.

Mobile phone companies have fought over music listeners for years. Apple Inc.'s iTunes helped create the digital music market, while Google, Spotify and Pandora have heated up competition.

In addition, Nokia Music's gig-finding service will use a consumer's position to find live concerts and shows happening nearby.

Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, is struggling to win back customers from Apple and devices running Google's Android software. It has identified the United States as a key market where it has to woo customers to gain momentum for a global comeback. Nokia is set to introduce its first devices based on the mobile version of Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows 8 operating system in New York tomorrow.

"The U.S.A. is the most vibrant and competitive digital music market in the world," Nokia entertainment chief Jyrki Rosenberg said in the statement.

Nokia, whose U.S. market share peaked at 32 percent in 2001, accounted for about 2 percent of smartphone purchases in the second quarter of 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.  Android and iPhone combined made up about 90 percent.

Shares of the Finnish company have dropped 38 percent this year.

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