Samsung and Nokia both stepping up their mobile music services

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 1:30pm

Samsung is reportedly planning to expand access to its cloud-based Music Hub service to its platform competitors' customers. Meanwhile, Nokia is launching a new premium version of its Nokia Music service for only $3.99 a month in the U.S.

Samsung's "Music Hub is a cloud-based service combining a user's own library with Spotify-style streaming, radio and discovery features. It’s essentially a rival to traditional music stores, online radio, streaming services and cloud locker services all in one package," explains The Next Web.

Nokia's "Music+ will be an ad-free service that lets users skip as many songs as they like rather than being limited to 6 skips per hour. Subscribers will be able to listen to Nokia Mix Radio and add songs to playlists, mark them as favorites, or save playlists to download songs," reports

More from The Next Web on Samsung is here; more from MobileBurn on Nokia+ is here.

Nokia launches music service with Pandora-like features in U.S. for Lumia owners

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 12:50pm

Nokia MusicNokia has since last October planned to offer its Lumia Windows Phone users a free music streaming service with Pandora-like radio features (RAIN coverage here). That service has been available to European users for months, but today Nokia brings the service to the U.S.

Nokia Music is free and replicates a radio experience in at least two ways. First, it includes a line-up of more than 150 curated playlists created by a "US-based team of 'musicologists.'"

Second, users can create their own custom playlists "with a Pandora-like feature that pulls in songs based on a selected artist and plays them back in random order, without advertisements," reports Engadget (here).

ESPN Radio launches app for Nokia Windows Phone devices

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 12:05pm

Nokia LumniaESPN Radio has launched a new app exclusively for Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone 7 devices. The app is part of Nokia's "continuing effort to keep its devices differentiated from the rest of the Windows Phone pack," reports The Verge.

The app includes more than 35 ESPN Radio podcasts, live streams and customized offerings. The Verge has more coverage here.


U.S. smartphone ownership closing in on 100 million, comScore reveals

Monday, February 6, 2012 - 11:00am

Last week comScore released its data on the U.S. mobile and smartphone market, details of which broadcasters and webcasters might find interesting. The study examined the final three months of 2011.

-- 234 million Americans (age 13+) used mobile devices.

-- Almost 98 million Americans owned smartphones in Q4 2011, which is 40% of all mobile subscribers.

-- Google Android remains the top U.S. smartphone platform, with a 47.3% market share. Apple iOS was second with just under 30%; RIM (Blackberry) slipped to 16%; Microsoft was under 5%; and Symbian (Nokia) was 1.4%.

-- Nearly 48% of U.S. mobile subscribers used apps, almost 24% listened to music on their phones.

Read more (including comScore's press release) from Engadget Mobile here.

New Spotify Radio app based on The Echo Nest music and playlist intelligence

Monday, December 19, 2011 - 11:00am

The new Spotify Radio app (which we reported here), officially made available Friday, is powered by music intelligence platform The Echo Nest.

The Echo NestSpotify Radio listeners can create custom radio stations based on specific songs or artists from Spotify's music catalogue. Basically, The Echo Nest supplies the relational information ("if the user chooses song A or artist B, they'll probably like songs X, Y, and Z") to build the playlists.

With what might be a subtle poke at Pandora (the biggest competitive target for the new app), Spotify Chief Content Officer Ken Parks said in the press release, "We can't wait to hear what our users think of Spotify Radio, which offers unlimited stations and unlimited skips..." 

The Echo Nest says they power more than 250 applications -- including Clear Channel's iHeartRadio and Nokia Music's Mix Radio -- and call their technology "the world's only machine learning system that actively reads about and listens to music everywhere on the web," boasting "over 5 billion data points on over 30 million songs." The Echo Nest was co-founded by two MIT PhDs. Investors include Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, and three co-founders of MIT Media Lab.

Read our coverage of other music applications that use The Echo Nest here and here. Here's the press release from them. Engadget reported on this too.


Nokia's Pandora-like service for Windows phones to be powered by Echo Nest

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:00pm

Nokia's MixRadio on the Lumia 800As we reported in October (here), Nokia's new Windows Phone 7 devices will include MixRadio -- a Pandora-like streaming radio service.

Now Nokia has announced the service will be powered by The Echo Nest (the same service that fuels iHeartRadio). The Echo Nest will provide "music intelligence" about which songs are similar to each other.

But unlike other streaming services, MixRadio will be able to scan the phone's hard drive to see what music the user has. That step will "constantly improve the listening experience over time," writes Billboard.

The MixRadio library contains about 15 million songs, Nokia says. MixRadio will also include around 100 stations programmed by "music experts," Billboard writes.

Billboard comments (here) that MixRadio shows "anyone can do personalized radio...Pandora may have built its personalized radio service on its proprietary Music Genome Project, but falling barriers to entry mean the company is going to have plenty of competitors. (Whether or not those competitors can create an equally satisfying experience is another matter, however.)"

Nokia's Windows Phone 7 devices -- which include the pictured flagship Lumia 800 -- will launch in the U.S. next year.

You can find more coverage from the Echo Nest's blog here and from Engadget here.

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