Samsung’s new Music Hub isn’t going to get much credit for being visionary, but the multi-faceted music service is ahead of its time. Music Hub’s combination of services may not shatter records, but its vertically integrated suite of products represents the future of digital music.
Music Hub is another case of music adding value to more profitable products and services. In this case, Samsung is first offering Music Hub only to owners of the Galaxy S III smartphone. Similarly, Sony’s Music Unlimited subscription service and Video Unlimited store are used mainly to bolster sales of Sony’s connected TVs, Blu-ray players and other piece of hardware. Mobile carrier Cricket uses its Muve Music subscription service to bolster its all-in-one, no-contract mobile phone service.
Whether or not the service is good, great or an equal to something like Pandora really isn’t the point here. What’s important is the fact that Samsung has put the most mainstream of music products (radio) with less mainstream music products (downloads and cloud storage). It’s an acknowledgement that radio is consumers’ favorite way to discover new music. In market research by NPD Group, Nielsen and anybody else who looks into the matter, radio outranks TV, word of mouth, blogs and social media (which ranks at or near the bottom) for music discovery.
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