Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) started a service that lets users listen to music stored online as the world’s top smartphone maker competes with Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) to win consumers seeking entertainment content on their handsets.
The Music Hub service, which will be first available on the Galaxy S III smartphone that went on sale in 28 countries today, has a cloud-based catalog of 19 million songs for purchase, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in a statement today. For a fixed monthly fee, users can also upload songs to servers for streaming on the maker’s devices, Samsung said.
Samsung follows rivals including Sony Corp. (6758) in introducing a music service to challenge Apple’s iTunes online store, which offers more than 20 million songs. The Music Hub service will be made available on a range of devices, Samsung said.
While Sony’s Music Unlimited service requires an Internet connection for streaming songs, the Music Hub allows users to store songs on individual devices for listening offline as the iTunes service does. Apple unveiled its iPod music player in 2001 and started the iTunes music store in 2003.
Samsung this month bought mSpot Inc., a provider of Web- based music and video content. The Music Hub uses mSpot’s cloud- computing technology, according to the statement.
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