LINE cited the subsidiary’s overall performance, music streaming challenges and corporate priorities as justification for the decision
Fourteen months after LINE Corporation acquired the online personalised streaming company MixRadio from Microsoft, the company announced today it will be shutting the service down.
The shutdown will occur over the coming weeks as LINE works to make the transition as smooth as possible. In an official corporate statement, Japan’s messaging giant cited financial viability as justification for the decision:
LINE agreed to acquire the business and assets making up the music service known as MixRadio from Microsoft Mobile OY in December 2014. The newly established company continued to provide a radio-style music streaming service intended to provide a broader user experience. Nevertheless, after a careful assessment of the subsidiary’s overall performance, the financial challenges posed by the music streaming market, and priorities of LINE Corporation, LINE has determined that future growth would be difficult to ensure and decided to discontinue the MixRadio music streaming service.
LINE Music, currently available in Thailand and Japan, will continue to operate.
In 2014, the collaboration between LINE and MixRadio seemed to have potential. At the time, LINE had a user base of 170 million active monthly users in 230 countries (it has since grown to 215 million monthly users as of Q4 2015) and a partnership with MixRadio (and its positive reputation) was reason for optimism.
But, overall the recent history of the music streaming industry has been a mixed bag.
In the positive circle is Apple and Spotify. Apple announced a few days ago that Apple Music crossed the 11 million user mark and last summer Spotify announced it had 20 million paid subscribers.
On the flip side, over the weekend Soundcloud revealed a net loss of over US$70 million from 2013-14 (it raises US$77 million from pre-existing investors to cover the cost). And last year, Rdio was acquired by Pandora (which has 81.1 million active users, according to its recently released financial data). Finally, the shut down of Grooveshark last May was a moment of nostalgia for fans of early-aughts music industry disruption.
So yeah, a mixed bag.
Two weeks ago LINE partnered with Indonesia’s Go-jek to help users reserve a ride.
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