Samsung gives Music Hub the axe, promises 'something better'
Samsung is giving up on its three-year-old Music Hub service, and giving existing customers until July 1 to grab their tunes.
According to Cult of Android, Samsung has e-mailed customers to let them know about the shutdown. “However, we will announce an even better and more complete musical experience as a replacement option for Samsung Music,” the company said.
Music Hub allowed users to purchase individual songs and either stream or download them to Samsung devices. The service launched in 2011, and gained a subscription-based option in 2012, after Samsung acquired mSpot.
Although Samsung pre-loaded Music Hub onto many of its Galaxy phones and tablets, it's unclear how many people actually used the service, as there was never much incentive to choose it over other streaming music services that worked on a wider range of devices.
For Music Hub, the writing had been on the wall since the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S5 , which lacks any of the company's “Hub” apps. Last week, Samsung spokesman Philip Berne wrote on Twitter that “Samsung Hub is going away.” While Samsung hasn't made any official announcements about its gaming and video hubs, the company's website says Samsung Books will also meet its end on July 1.
As for that “better and more complete musical experience,” Samsung may be referring to Milk Music, an Internet radio service similar to Pandora (and, in fact, powered by Slacker Radio). For now, the service is ad-free, and only available on a handful of Samsung phones, but the company has hinted at adding advertisements and charging $4 per month to remove them.
It's unclear whether Samsung will try to build Milk Music into the full-blown Spotify competitor that Music Hub tried to be, but it doesn't seem out of the question. Still, if Samsung can't come up with an answer for why people should use Milk Music over services that aren't locked to Samsung devices, history may only repeat itself.