Friday, May 23, 2014

Samsung to retire Music Hub streaming service

Claire Reilly /CNet

Established as a dedicated music streaming service specifically for Samsung devices, Samsung Music Hub will be discontinued after less than three years of operation.

The service allows users to browse through a catalog of millions of songs from major and "key independent" record labels, and listen to song previews before purchasing individual tracks and albums.

Users create playlists of up to 200 songs, which can then be cached offline. There is also a Music Hub web interface that can be used to scan a PC for existing music files and match them to files in Music Hub, while Smart TV can also access music video playback at 720p.

The service runs on a tiered subscription model, offering a monthly access fee for single devices or a premium model that provides access for up to four devices as well as a web interface.

Available across the Samsung ecosystem and promoted with specific device launches such as the Galaxy S5, the roll out of the service was largely enabled by Samsung's purchase of cloud content service provider mSpot in 2012. Since first launching, Music Hub is currently available in a number of regions globally, including the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.

TechRadar reported Samsung was advising Music Hub users to "take the time to download all purchased content and use any remaining vouchers for Samsung Music before July 1, 2014 -- after that date they will no longer be available".

However, the notice to customers seems to suggest they'll be able to hold on to songs that they've already purchased and downloaded.

In a statement on the shutdown, Samsung said it remained "committed" to delivering music to customers through MilkMusic, WatchOn and partner services, but that the Music Hub service was no longer part of its strategy.

"In order to meet rapidly changing consumer needs, Samsung's services will remain available as individual apps rather than in one, single bundled storefront," the statement said.

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