A recent interview with MSN has thrown up some interesting comments about MSN Mobile's strategy regarding its new music download service, not least the decision to tie tracks to phones through DRM.

PC Pro ran an interview with Hugh Griffiths, Head of Mobile at Microsoft UK, which hinted that the recent announcement from MSN is a testbed to see how consumers like to use mobile music.

When quizzed on whether consumers would prefer to download DRM-free tracks from the likes of iTunes and Amazon instead, Griffiths hinted things might change for MSN in the future:

"We will see what the outcome of this is. We'll see whether customers find it an acceptable proposition or not.

"We've been encouraged by the results in the first couple of weeks. It's ultimately down to consumer choice. We'd like to have offered a fuller service, we weren't in a position to do so for a number of reasons."

The worrying thing is, unlike services such as Nokia's Comes with Music, which offers unlimited downloads when buying a CwM branded device, MSN hasn't catered for users when the handsets are upgraded (you can re-download your entire library to your new CwM handset as long as you buy another branded device).

Life cycle

When asked what happens to the music at the end of a phone's life, Griffiths simply said: "Well, I think you know the answer to that."

He added: "I didn't realise phones were churning that quickly in the marketplace these days. I'm sure there are some users who change their phone every year.

"This is an introduction - it's a toe in the water for MSN Mobile and we'll see how the service develops and we'll keep a very close eye on it, and we'll look to amend and change it as necessary as time progresses."

It's likely MSN Mobile will have to adapt quickly to keep up with the shift in mobile music as more and more operators launch innovative strategies to offer more value to customers.

Head on over to PC Pro to see Griffiths get a good grilling on the MSN Mobile's strategy.