WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
Samsung to spread Music Hub pre-installed in a bunch of other Samsung devices.
"One of the great advantages we have over our rivals is that Music Hub is pre-installed in our flagship product and will be available later in a bunch of other Samsung devices," said Kang, who developed the Hangul 2000 software, a Korean equivalent of Microsoft's Word processor, and was poached from mobile operator KT Corp in 2010.
Music Hub, available on Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphones in the United States and several European markets, combines all the key available music service options on a single platform - offering paid digital downloads like iTunes, a personalized radio service like Pandora, music upload to cloud like iTunes Match and Cloud Player. Users can access a catalogue of over 19 million songs - including the Korean hit 'Gangnam Style' that has taken the pop world by storm and topped iTune's download charts - and stream seamlessly to mobile devices. Apple says its iTunes Store has more than 28 million songs.
"Amazon, Google and Apple should really take note of Music Hub's radio service," Billboard said recently. "Whether or not the service is good, great or equal to something like Pandora really isn't the point. What's important is that Samsung has put the most mainstream of music products (radio) with less mainstream music products (downloads, cloud storage)," it said.
The toughest challenge is to turn around consumer perception that Samsung is only good at hardware, and to add killer apps to bind consumers to their Samsung devices.
"Pre-installing Music Hub on the Galaxy is powerful, but not enough," said Kang, adding there be more aggressive promotions, including month-long free trials and give-away albums.
That will put the squeeze more firmly on Pandora, Spotify and other online music firms that lose money as they depend on paid subscriptions and advertising but have no hardware to sell.
"We have an internal target to break even in software. But, in general, selling content won't make much of a contribution to the bottom line. We see other new business opportunities associated with content," Kang said.
Samsung plans to have Music Hub working on a range of consumer devices - from smartphones to Internet-enabled TVs and fridges - and is likely to ultimately want to monetize it by hooking up with an ad platform.
"We're preparing new services for launch early next year. With these offerings, people will start to think Samsung is good in software, too," said Kang, declining to elaborate on those launches.