British mobile music startup ChartsNow.mobi has rebranded as MusicQubed and signed a major deal to preload the UK’s Top 40 singles chart on Samsung mobile phones.
The partnership was announced on-stage at the BPI’s annual general meeting in London today, where MusicQubed was taking part in a Best Music Start Up showcase organised by IC tomorrow.
MusicQubed didn’t win – that honour went to BandApp – but the Samsung deal is consolation enough. The company is putting major marketing welly behind its Galaxy S III smartphone and other Android handsets, becoming the main competitor to Apple’s iPhone.
As ChartsNow, the startup worked with EMI on an app based on the Now That’s What I Call Music brand, charging users £1 a week for unlimited access to the UK’s Top 40 singles.
As MusicQubed, the company has a new website outlining its white-label offering: “Premium content packaged as an Official Chart, Compilation or Artist Album… Music content is pre-loaded and updates are pushed overnight for instant and uninterrupted access – anytime, anywhere.”
The partnership with Samsung already includes a live app on the Google Play app store. Official Top 40 Chart App lists Samsung Electronics (UK) as its publisher, and judging by its user reviews has been available since mid-June – presumably in beta.
“Brought to you exclusively by Samsung, this fantastic new service delivers instant, unlimited plays of the Official Top 40 Chart Hits plus Daily Celebrity Music News as it happens!” explains its app store listing.
The app involves downloading the chart to the handset rather than streaming it, with push notifications to let users know when new content is available, and Facebook/Twitter sharing features.
According to Google Play, users will get a free trial period before being charged £1 a week, with credit/debit card, PayPal and premium SMS available as payment options.
The version on Google Play has so far been downloaded between 1,000 and 5,000 times according to the store’s own stats. But it’s the preload deal that makes this potentially a big win for MusicQubed.
The app will presumably sit alongside Samsung’s other music services on handsets, such as its Music Hub, which offers a mixture of streaming and cloud storage via partner 7digital.