HTC just announced it will diversify itself in the sea of Android-run phone makers by releasing an exclusive streaming music service.
Streaming music online has become like second nature on the Internet. There are more streaming music options than ever before, and the pool of options is only getting bigger. Yesterday it was released that the phone maker HTC would also be entering the streaming music market.
Some might have foreseen this last year when the phone maker bought a majority stake in Beats Audio, the headphone company started up by rapper Dr. Dre. The investment in the company only got HTC headphones for their phones, but now reports say that it’s paying off and that HTC is working with the music industry executive Jimmy Iovine (who helped start Beats Audio) to develop this new, streaming music service.
This might be the ticket that HTC needs to differentiate itself from other Android OS-run phones. In the beginning, HTC had the early adopter advantage (the edge that the first company with a niche product has in that market, before others start to replicate their product or service). The company had no competition. Now that more and more hardware companies are developing top-of-the-line phones for the Android operating system, HTC is feeling the pressure.
The Tawainese-based phone company has recently seen a decline in its business, due to the success of Apple and Samsung. Undoubtedly, the company hopes this foray into the music streaming industry will boost its sales and give consumers a reason to buy phones from them. The service would be the default music player on the company’s phones and tablets.
Already the competition is fierce. Companies like Pandora and Spotify already have a strong mobile presence, in addition to their web based services. Also, many streaming services are like Pandora – free to use. HTC would have to release quite a product to overcome the fee that users will face to use the forthcoming Beats Audio mobile streaming product.
One aspect that is working in HTC’s favor is Jimmy Iovine. Because of his extensive and long-standing connections in the music industry, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility that he could get deals for licensing music in new, creative ways that other streaming services can’t obtain.
In addition to the streaming market, HTC and Beats Audio have also expressed interest in a collaboration that will make wireless boomboxes. The idea is that music will play from a mobile device through a Bluetooth connection. And Iovine has said before that he’s looking to expand his company.
Although hard facts are sparse right now, the Mobile World Congress is happening later this month in Barcelona, Spain. HTC has specifically said it will announce anything about its streaming service during its scheduled press conference at the event, but analysts report that announcing the service it would be the smartest move to generate the most buzz for the company’s upcoming release.
Some things that will for sure be announced at HTC’s press event: new hardware from the phone maker. A growing trend that many big-name phone makers are implementing is focusing more resources on fewer phones, to create just a handful of really outstanding, competitive phones. HTC has said before that they will be shifting their business model in that direction and the Barcelona announcement will probably explain that vision further. Hopefully we’ll get to hear something about the new Beats Audio service as well.
We’ve talked about a lot of different streaming music services here, such as Amazon, Google Music, Grooveshark, and even Best Buy. What can we say, we love listening to music online! If you’re interested in looking at some other streaming music services check out our blog posts about Pandora or SoundCloud or Grooveshark.