Mobile gaming giant DeNA launches Groovy, a Japan-only music-streaming app for Android

Mobile gaming giant DeNA launches Groovy, a Japan-only music-streaming app for Android

Mobile gaming firm DeNA has launched a new social music-streaming app in its native Japan, almost three months after it first intimated it would following the acquisition of another local ‘start-app’.

Just to recap, back in January DeNA launched a full corporate rebrand as it strove to unite its global businesses. The billion-dollar company is already a heavyweight in the local mobile gaming scene, however it does have offices and development studios in 18 cities across 11 markets globally, and with its rebrand it was evidently eying a big global push.

However, with the original rebranding announcement, DeNA also made a number of additional statements around its local business in Japan. One of these was that it had acquired a Japanese music app going by the name of Discodeer, which DeNA said it was giving a makeover with a view to relaunching as ‘Groovy’ some time in early 2013.

Now, as Tokyo-based tech blog Startup-Dating observes (spotted via TechInAsia) that app has come to fruition, kicking off first with Android and with an iOS incarnation to follow. It has reportedly launched with 39 music labels in total, including Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music.


Groovy is only available to users in Japan, launching with around a million songs initially, some 90% of which have their lyrics displayed while the songs play. For a karaoke-loving nation, that’s obviously a key preparatory feature. Also, the app lets you indicate that you’re a ‘fan’ of a song when you listen to it more than three times, data that’s fed into the broader ‘interest graph’ and enables you to see what other people like and are listening to.

When a user first signs up for an account, they receive 30 credits, with each credit representing a single listen to a song for up to three times in a month, though a 45-second preview is offered for free. Tickets worth 17 credits are available for 99 yen ($1) too. Users are also encouraged to invite their friends to join, with complementary tickets offered as a reward.

This latest launch comes five months after DeNA jumped into the already-crowded mobile VoIP and messaging market with a new app called Comm, which was proof enough that DeNA was pushing beyond its gaming roots into other fields. With Groovy now in tow, DeNA is certainly covering more bases and it will be interesting to see where the company goes from here.

Last month, DeNA posted record quarterly revenue of $567m, with its operating profit jumping more than 50% year-on-year to $216m, thanks in large to its Mobage games network which runs across iOS and Android. The company said that it had seen “strong growth” from Mobage in particular outside of Japan, with two of its games, ‘Rage of Bahamut’ and ‘Blood Brothers’, topping the US Android charts on gross earnings, with others performing well in Apple’s App Store.

That said, DeNA’s domestic Japan remains its biggest market, with the last quarter seeing record-high uptake of Moba-coins, its virtual currency used to buy virtual items and other goods from within Mobage.

Groovy is available to download in Japan now for Android, with iOS expected to follow.

Groovy | Google Play [Japan Only]

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

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