Messaging app Line launches digital music streaming service inside Japan
Mobile messaging giant Line on Thursday launched a digital music streaming service in Japan, stepping into a largely untapped market still dominated by sales of compact discs.
The new business — which comes weeks before Apple is expected to enter the Japanese market with its own streaming service — offers unlimited access to a collection of more than 1.5 million songs for 1,000 yen (US$8) a month.
For those on a budget, a 500-yen fee buys 20 hours of listening time.
Line said it would expand its music library to 5 million tunes by the end of the year, and to 30 million in 2016.
The service will feature top-selling
artists, from Sam Smith to Michael Jackson, as well as likes of Japanese diva Ayumi Hamasaki and Korean band Big Bang.
Line Music said it plans to set up accounts for artists where they can send messages and offer glimpse of their lives to their fans.
Japan is the world’s second largest music market, estimated to be worth US$2.6 billion in 2014, after the US$4.8 billion U.S. market, according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
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