Smartphone makers compete with new music offerings

(Nokia)

(Nokia)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 8:14 PM ET

Samsung and Nokia are both increasing their music-based offerings in a bid to stem competition from other companies and services.

Nokia, which launched its own music discovery service, Nokia Music -- offering free streaming of curated and user-generated playlists -- in the US for Lumia handset owners in September, has announced that it is introducing a new premium Music+ service that brings a number of added features and benefits.

For $4 a month, subscribers get superior audio quality, access to lyrics, unlimited skips and track downloads (limited only by the handset's capacity). Users will also be able to stream tracks and playlists on any device with a browser, putting the service in direct competition with services like Spotify.

The service is set to debut in the US in the coming weeks, with other territories expected to be announced later in the year.

And while Nokia's service could be seen as a way to keep users loyal to its Windows Phone handsets, Samsung's latest announcement suggests that it wants to go into direct competition with Amazon, Google and Apple. The South Korean company's Music Hub, which, like Apple's iTunes Match and Google Music, allows owners of Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note II to upload and match their music collections and stream tracks and radio stations, is set to roll out across all of Samsung's connected device range -- from smart TVs to fridges and beyond.

Speaking to The Next Web, TJ Kang, SVP for Samsung Media Services, said that the company wants to extend the service to non-Samsung devices (read: Android handsets and tablets), pitching the service as a direct alternative to Google Music.

However, Samsung's plans will only come to fruition if it can negotiate licensing and rights issues as it moves into other territories. It has taken Google Music more than two years to bring all of its features to European users for this very reason. It should make a formal debut within the next few weeks.


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