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Samsung Enriches Galaxy Smartphones With Milk Music

Mar 8 2014, 1:05pm CST | by

Samsung Enriches Galaxy Smartphones With Milk Music

Samsung has launched a competitor to Apple iTunes Radio, itself a service that quickly captured market share in digital music with 11 million unique visitors in its first three days, last Fall. The Samsung service is called Milk Music and is free to end-users as well as ad free. It is US-based for now. How good (or threatening to Apple) is it?

It is certainly being received well in the tech pres. Samsung was trying to solve the problems of finding the right music, sign-up reticence, ad interruptions and limited catalogs with its Milk Music service and UX-design. A consensus is quickly forming around its success.

According to David Ruddock at Android Police: “Samsung Milk is probably the most straightforward music streaming app I’ve ever used – and that’s exactly the kind of response Samsung is looking to get from it.”

But there is also an interesting  back story. Samsung is using the Slacker Radio streaming service to enrich its Galaxy product line-up, with a ready-to-go catalog of 13 million items of music, rather than build on its existing products.

To date Samsung has made use of other third part services providers like the UK’s 7 Digital. However, it appears that 7 Digital, which has a broader view of what a digital music provider should do, is now part-financed by Apple and Intel.

7 Digital powers the Samsung Music-Hub, the Samsung music service launched in 2012 after the acquisition of M-Spot.

7 Digital is a player in digital music infrastructure having previously provided download services for Spotify.  The company also has a catalog of 25 million songs, nearly twice the size of Slacker. It is a stronger platform play than Slacker and announced a new TIZEN app as well as a new SDK for music service development on the same day that Milk Music launched.

Reaction to the new Slacker-powered service though is positive even among the traditional press.

CNET’s verdict on the service is also strongly positive:

The music itself isn’t radically different than what you’d hear on Pandora or SiriusXM, but this does feel more like the paid premium version of Pandora — except that it’s free to use.

The FT’s take on the business side of it is just as favorable:

….while maintaining feature parity is an important if unglamorous part of the hypercompetitive smartphone market, Milk does bring something new to Samsung Galaxy: great software design.

Milk Music is available for Samsung’s Galaxy S4, S3, Notes 2 and 3, and the S5 when it launches. Should Apple be worried about a challenge from Samsung in music?

Not at all. The digital music space is transforming and Samsung can be a player if it manages to streamline and globalize its offer quickly. Right now it looks designed to bulk out the Galaxy line-up with more services and value – that might give Apple pause for thought.

Connect on Twitter? I am @haydn1701. Join me on Facebook or Google

Source: Forbes

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