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Nokia Music+ streaming and download service announced for Lumia owners

Nokia has launched Nokia Music+, a subscription-based music streaming service which will give Lumia smartphone owners a significant discount over the competition.

Designed as an upgrade to Nokia Music and its Mix Radio service, which the company has indicated will remain free, Nokia Music+ allows the user to exchange €3.99 a month for an unlimited number of track skips, an unlimited number of downloads for offline playback - previously restricted to four 'Mixes' at a time - and a web app that allows the service to be used on desktops, laptops and even smart TV sets.

Additional features exclusive to Nokia Music+ subscribers include boosted quality - "eight times the existing quality," Nokia claims, but without providing bitrate figures to quantify that improvement - and the ability to view song lyrics in karaoke-style format, as a scrolling list or as a manual list on Lumia handsets.

The key offering from Nokia Music+, however, is the price: where rival smartphone music streaming services, like the popular Spotify, are priced around the €9.99 a month mark for unlimited streaming and downloads, Nokia's service costs just €3.99 a month. "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," Jyrki Rosenberg, vice-president of Nokia's entertainment division, told company news site Conversations by Nokia.

For those who own a Lumia handset, that's a welcome bonus - and one that could see them save a not-inconsiderable sum of money over the lifetime of the device. For those who don't, it's something that may sway them towards Nokia's Windows Phone 8-based devices over rival smartphones - and with the flagship Lumia 920 handset already selling out across Europe, that can only be good news for the once-struggling Finnish mobile giant.

Nokia has indicated that it will be rolling out Nokia Music+ internationally in the coming weeks, but has yet to provide UK pricing for the service.

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