Samsung has denied that the Korean Company is looking to buy
the struggling Tidal streaming service.
The email that was sent to Australian customers read 'With a
heavy heart, we will be closing the service in Australia on April 28, 2016.
After this date, you will no longer be able to stream music or access your
cached music from Samsung Milk Music on your Samsung device'.
Samsung said that f you have subscribed to Milk Premium, the
auto-renewal of your current subscription will be automatically disabled on
March 21, 2016. We will also no longer be accepting any new subscriptions or
renewals after March 21, 2016.
The shut-down comes two years after Samsung unveiled Milk
Music with big fanfare as a competitor to Pandora.
The service, which offered consumers personalised radio
stations, had initially been exclusive to owners of select mobile devices made
by the company. Samsung later opened up Milk Music on the Web, and brought it
to its smart TVs as well, but never released apps for phones from other
In the past Samsung has promoted deals with EMI but this
also failed to take off in Australia.
Milk Music was initially meant to be part of a bigger move
toward a new generation of media services that would add value to Samsung
devices while also adding incremental advertising and subscription revenue to
Samsung's bottom line.
The Company even built out their own transaction platform in
an effort to sell content to consumers.
As part of that
strategy, Samsung launched Milk Video as a platform for short-form video
content in late 2014. There had been plans to branch out with the Milk brand into
sports and other forms of entertainment as well.
But late last year, Samsung closed down Milk Video after it
failed to gain traction with consumers.
Now, Milk Music has also bitten the dust
A source close to the company said that Samsung executives are looking to "clean
house" after spending significantly on Milk Music without seeing the expected
returns. Another source with knowledge of the project said that the service's
free component has seen some traction with consumers, but that hardly anyone
bothered to pay for Milk's premium tier, much to the dismay of senior
A first sign that Milk Music was in trouble was on display
at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.
During the show, executives touted how well Samsung's TVs
work with third-party media services, but didn't mention or show Samsung's own
Milk Music smart TV app at all.
And when Samsung recently introduced its new Galaxy S7 and
S7 Edge smart phones, Milk Music was again nowhere to be seen.
Insiders and sources close to the company said that that the
Milk Music team has seen significant staff reductions over the past couple of
months. "A lot of people in the organization have left or are shifting
positions," said one source.
It's still unclear what exactly is going to replace Milk
Music. Samsung had been in talks with Tidal about a potential acquisition, and
Tidal owner Jay Z even stopped by Samsung's campus to meet with the company's
executives last October. The New York Post reported last month that the two
parties have picked up talks again.
However, multiple music industry insiders cautioned that an
acquisition may be far from certain even before Samsung's official denial.
any see a partnership with Tidal or another streaming
service as a likelier option.
This would also fit better in Samsung's overall strategy:
After failing to get its own services off the ground, Samsung has over the last
year or two moved toward striking deals with high-profile partners. In 2014
Samsung shut down its own electronic book store to partner with Amazon on a
customized Kindle app for Samsung devices. And at CES, Samsung announced a new
"Made for Samsung" program that will include co-branded apps from partners like
Expedia, CNN and the Weather Channel.