Samsung Music Hub: Samsung’s streaming iTunes service debuts on Galaxy S III
has eyes on your TV and fridge

Samsung’s new music service, Music Hub, plans to take on virtually every music service currently available from Sotify to iTunes offering users the chance to listen to music from the latest smartphones to the company’s range of fridges.

In Samsung’s boldest move yet to crack the popular music streaming business, the new service will offer everything from a online cloud locker storage to complete with iTunes Match, a streaming radio service to take on services like Pandora and, a personal recommendation engine like Apple’s Genius that doesn’t just recommend against your songs, to of course just letting you play one of the 19 million tracks it has in its catalogue to compete with Spotify.

“We aren’t about niches,” TJ Kang, SVP Media Services for Samsung told Pocket-lint in a one-to-one briefing in London ahead of the announcement. “We want to have the largest catalogue. We want to be bigger than Apple.”

The service, powered by the Korean’s company latest acquisition, mSpot, will initially be available to Samsung Galaxy S III owners be able to use the service if they are happy to pay the £9.99 monthly fee but soon roll out to other Samsung devices:

“All our new devices moving forward will have Music Hub as standard, and we will be bringing the app to our current line of devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Samsung Galaxy Note very soon,” says Kang.

Samsung also plans to release a version for other mobile operating systems in a similar way that its messaging app, Chat On, is available on iOS for example, although Kang did tell us that Samsung devices would be getting benefits because it can marry the strengths of the app with the strengths of the hardware.

But it’s not just about being available on your phone. The service, which costs £9.99, will come with a browser offering allowing access from either a PC or a Mac without the need to install any software, while Kang also promises an app for the company’s Smart TV range. If that sounds limiting, Kang says the company is working to get it to as many places as possible including Samsung’s audio docks as well as its fridge range allowing you to manage your music listening while you get a cold glass of milk. When he says it is a Music Hub, he really means it.

“It is important to be more open,” says Darren Tsui, mSpot’s CEO, also present in our meeting.

Launching initially in the UK, France, and Germany, 7 digital powers the catalogue giving users the chance to listen to over 19 million tracks, but it isn’t about having the largest catalogue.

“If we don’t have the track you can simply upload it to the locker service and then stream it to your phone wherever you are,” explains Tsui.

It’s a simply solution to one of the biggest problems facing many of the music streaming services; having a catalogue to match Apple’s iTunes. Tsui shows us with a Beatles track he has bought in iTunes, uploaded to his digital locker and now streaming on Music Hub.

“The software auto-syncs with your iTunes catalogue and automatically adds the music to your digital locker” adds Tsui. That means playlists, tracks, albums anything.

“We realise that people like to still buy music, this way they can use iTunes and Music Hub together.”

The app itself is, as you can imagine, is fairly comprehensive, trying to make light work of the plethora of services it offers.

A grid style system gives you quick access to the different areas of the app, while song titles, and artist names dominate the proceedings there on in. Album art is present, but aside from what playing now it very much takes a back seat. For the karaoke fans the app also offers song lyrics too.

It’s clear Samsung hopes the Music Hub will become the company’s new iTunes, a chance to take on Apple’s music very short heritage, and until now something it has lacked. The quicker it can move from the being available to just S3 owners to more devices, the quicker that goal will become a reality.


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