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Samsung to Launch Online Music Service
[September 01, 2006]

Samsung to Launch Online Music Service

(AP) Samsung to Launch Online Music Service
AP Technology Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. plans to introduce its own online music service to compete against Apple Computer (News - Alert) Inc.'s market-leading iTunes-iPod franchise and Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp.'s upcoming Zune music products.

The South Korean-based electronics giant said Friday it will work with media provider MusicNet to launch a music subscription and download service later this year in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Samsung said it plans to later expand the service throughout Europe and Asia.

Samsung said the online music service will be compatible with its upcoming line of portable MP3 and media players, but did not disclose further details about the service, pricing or fees. Samsung representatives were not immediately available for comment Friday.

Analysts expect the company will try and achieve a similar kind of integration between the music software and portable devices as Apple's iTunes Music Store and iPod player combination.

Others, including Sony Corp., have had little success so far against the iTunes and iPod juggernaut.

Samsung's move comes on the heels of Microsoft's announcement in July of plans for its own branded music player and online music service, meaning the Redmond, Wash.-based giant would no longer rely solely on other music services or hardware partners like Samsung or Creative Technologies Ltd. to make products that are compatible with Microsoft's digital media software.

"Apple has shown that to do this, you have to control as many of the parts of the chain as possible," said Mike McGuire, an analyst at Gartner Inc. market research firm. "Microsoft is taking a page out of Apple's book, and now Samsung is, too."

MusicNet said music from the Samsung online service, like other MusicNet-powered outlets, will use Microsoft's Windows Media Player technology.

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