Samsung has big plans for its cloud-based Music Hub offering. In addition to rolling it out across the company’s own range of connected devices, the intention is to then expand it more widely to support hardware by other manufacturers too, the company tells us.
Music Hub is a cloud-based service combining a user’s own library with Spotify-style streaming, radio and discovery features. It’s essentially a rival to traditional music stores, online radio, streaming services and cloud locker services all in one package. It’s currently only available on the Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II, but TJ Kang, SVP for Samsung Media Services told The Next Web today that the plan to expand its availability goes beyond just the company’s own hardware.
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Kang, who is in Cannes, France to speak at Midem‘s Visionary Monday event tomorrow, said that initially, the plan is for Music Hub to come to Samsung’s own phones, tablets, smart TVs and potentially even other devices such as its Android-powered connected refrigerator. Music Hub is currently available in six countries but its geographic reach is set to be expanded during 2013.
However, he acknowledged that customers tend to own hardware from a variety of manufacturers and that expanding Music Hub to support these devices would make life easier for them.
Music Hub is already available as a download on Google Play (supporting the Galaxy S III and Note II), so expanding it to non-Samsung devices (at least on Android) should be easy when the company decides to make that move.
What’s interesting here is that this would move Music Hub on from being just a nice value-add for Samsung customers and pitch it as a direct competitor to Amazon, Google and other companies offering cross-platform music services that provide combinations of downloads, streaming and cloud lockers. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers will go for it. By way of comparison, Sony offers the Music Unlimited streaming service on its own hardware and on desktop computers, Apple iOS and non-Sony Android devices, and yet you don’t tend to hear that mentioned in the same breath as Spotify and Rdio.
The current version of the Music Hub is the result of Samsung’s acquisition of Silicon Valley-based mSpot in May last year. Kang says that integration of mSpot features took just twenty days from the deal being announced, and this was the first acquisition by Samsung’s Set business (which produces the company’s consumer electronics lines) since it bought PC manufacturer AST Research in 1997. So, the company is clearly serious about Music Hub, which is a solid offering in comparison to its rivals.
Kang tells us that the timing for a wider rollout of Music Hub for Samsung hardware depends on securing territory-specific deals with music labels and the release schedule for the company’s future flagship devices during 2013. He could give no timeframe for availability on other manufacturers’ hardware, but simply said that such availability was the company’s goal.
You will be able to watch TJ Kang’s talk and the rest of Midem’s Visionary Monday, livestreamed here on The Next Web tomorrow during the European daytime. The event starts at 11am CET.
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