Samsung extends Music Hub to U.S. on Android Galaxy S III


Samsung Electronics is rolling out its Music Hub service to U.S. consumers, initially limiting the mobile music effort to its Android-powered Galaxy S III smartphone. That device is available from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA.

First introduced in select international markets late last year, Samsung Music Hub offers consumers free, ad-supported access to more than 19 million tracks streamed over 3G or Wi-Fi, including content from major labels Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as well as a host of independent labels. Users may also purchase individual tracks and complete albums, storing all tracks in the cloud.

Samsung is also offering a premium Music Hub service priced at $9.99 per month. The package includes ad-free streaming access, personalized radio stations based on favorite songs and artists, customized recommendations, playlist creation and sharing tools, and lyrics and album information. The premium offering additionally scans the subscriber's desktop music library and matches each selection with MP3 versions culled from the Music Hub library, storing content in the cloud for access on any device registered with a Music Hub account. Samsung also offers 100 GB of additional storage for all unmatched recordings, translating to space for roughly 25,000 more tracks.

Music Hub--available for download via the Samsung App Store or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play--incorporates streaming media technologies developed by mSpot, acquired by Samsung in May 2012. Music Hub closely resembles rival services like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player, which also mirror users' digital music library files with versions stored in the cloud; however, both of those services are priced at $24.99 per year.

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