Samsung plans to expand Music Hub streaming to non-Samsung devices
Samsung Electronics will extend its cloud-based Music Hub across its full range of connected devices, with plans afoot to bring the streaming service to products from rival manufacturers.
Speaking to The Next Web at the Midem music conference in Cannes, France, Samsung Media Services Senior Vice President TJ Kang said the company will first focus on expanding Music Hub to all of its own Android smartphones and tablets as well as smart TVs and possibly even its Android-powered connected refrigerator. But Kang said Samsung recognizes that many consumers own devices from a variety of manufacturers, so the firm is exploring porting Music Hub to other mobile operating systems and hardware platforms. He added that the timing for a wider Music Hub rollout hinges on finalizing territory-specific deals with Samsung's record label partners as well as the company's own device roadmap, and declined to speculate when Music Hub may be available on non-Samsung products.
Music Hub--available for download via the Samsung App Store or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play--incorporates streaming media technologies developed by mSpot, acquired by Samsung in May 2012. The service offers free, ad-supported access to more than 19 million tracks streamed over 3G or Wi-Fi, including content from major labels Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as a host of independent labels. Users may also purchase individual tracks and complete albums, storing all tracks in the cloud.
Samsung also offers a premium, ad-free service priced at $9.99 per month, adding personalized radio stations based on favorite songs and artists, customized recommendations, playlist creation and sharing tools, and lyrics and album information. The premium offering additionally scans the subscriber's desktop music library and matches each selection with MP3 versions culled from the Music Hub catalog, storing content in the cloud for access on any device registered with a Music Hub account.
Samsung Music Hub rolled out to U.S. consumers in mid-2012 and is currently available on the Galaxy S III and Note II smartphones. Expanding Music Hub to other platforms would enable Samsung to more effectively compete against services like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes Match and Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Cloud Player, which also mirror users' digital music library files with versions stored in the cloud. Both of those services are priced at $24.99 per year.
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