December 15, 2014
The company behind the LINE messaging app is the latest to join the crowded music streaming business. LINE will launch “LINE MUSIC” in collaboration with recording labels Avex Digital and Sony Music Entertainment. The new venture is backed by about $4 million, but it will have to compete with established streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Google. LINE has achieved success with its messaging app, which now has over 500 million registered users.
LINE is still discussing the details with Avex and Sony, two of the largest record labels in Japan, where the app company is based. There are no details yet on the release date or the price of LINE MUSIC. According to the press release, the company intends to capitalize on its “global user base and experience developing and operating smartphone services.”
LINE is a top messaging app with over 170 million monthly users and the company made $192 million last quarter. However, it still has yet to break into American and European markets, reports TechCrunch.
The company may have trouble finding traction in the U.S. for its music service because the market is already dominated by several players, including Spotify, Pandora, Google, Beats and Rdio. YouTube recently announced it, too, will enter the market.
In Japan though, music streaming is a different story. Spotify, Rdio, and other top streaming services have been unable to reach agreements with the music industry there, so Japanese music fans have fewer options for streaming. LINE has also expanded to provide several other mobile services in its home country, including taxi booking and food delivery.
In addition to its music streaming subscription service, LINE has another worldwide debut in the works: a mobile payments service.