Analysis

Line tests $2 streaming service as Tinder starts selling music


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line-music

Two news stories that are seemingly unrelated this morning, but which show the potential for companies in the social apps world to extend their businesses into music.

First: Japanese social network Line is testing a $2-a-month streaming music service in Thailand. Second: dating app Tinder is selling the latest album by dance artist Zedd at a discount.

TechCrunch has the skinny on Line’s experiment in Thailand, where its Line Music app has made its debut on iOS and Android. “Gain access to an expansive library of music, ranging from the latest hits to the classics,” explains its app store listing. “Share your favourite songs by Line chat or timeline and enjoy listening with your friends and groups.”

The app charges 60 Baht a month – around $1.79 – for a subscription via in-app purchase, with curated playlists and lyrics also in the mix.

Line Music was first announced in December, with Line setting it up as a joint venture with labels Avex Digital and Sony Music. The company, whose main messaging app now has more than 200 million active users, has also bought MixRadio from Microsoft – that service launched in 31 countries on iOS and Android earlier in the week.

Line has also been forging partnerships in the music industry with artists like Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, who have large followings in its main app, where they’re distributing (and in Macca’s case, selling) digital stickers.

And Tinder? The dating app now has a profile for electronic musician Zedd, but he’s not looking for love – people swiping right on his profile will find an offer to buy his ‘True Colors’ album for $3.99 – half the price it costs on stores like iTunes.

Zedd, who is signed to Universal’s Interscope Records, is the latest musician to experiment with Tinder: earlier this year, Jason Derulo launched a profile on the app promoting the YouTube video for his latest single, and saw 1.1m fans swipe right, with 14% of them tapping through to the iTunes Store.

Stuart Dredge

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One response
  • It’s more of the same- savvy marketing but nothing for artists. Our subscription channel is doing well with artists because we actually pay them a salary to create so they don’t have to be weighed down with day jobs and put music on the back burner. Fans love us because for $4 a month they get the best new indie music to stream and download, videos, and a great zine. Industry loves us because we’re actually doing something different by working with artists to build a creative community. We’re still growing but we’re on the right track, which is more than can be said for most companies.

    Christine Infanger
    Queen of Content
    Vishnu’s Trumpet

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