Messaging app firm Line bought MixRadio from Microsoft in December 2014 and now, just over a year later, it is closing the music streaming service after deeming that its business isn’t financially viable.
Line has existing music services that are live in its home market of Japan and Thailand, one of its largest markets where it has over 30 million users, so it’s fair to say the company is invested in the industry and aware of the possibilities and challenges of streaming.
After a careful assessment of the subsidiary’s overall performance, the financial challenges posed by the music streaming market, and priorities of LINE Corporation, LINE has determined that future growth would be difficult to ensure and decided to discontinue the MixRadio music streaming service.
Line shift its strategy mid-2015 to prioritize Asia and other markets where it is popular over international ambitions. As part of that, it is developing new services — such as a tie-in with motorbike taxi on-demand service Go-Jek in Indonesia, and a digital assistant service in Thailand. The acquisition of MixRadio came from a time when it was exploring global expansion opportunities, which is likely another explanation for this closure.
MixRadio had been a worthy option for music lovers, and particularly those who are fans of Microsoft smartphones which were, for a long time, the only platform on which the service was available.
The MixRadio app, which finally made its way to iOS and Android last May, will close down over “the coming weeks,” Line explained. The company still owns the MixRadio assets and technology, so it could well be that they are repackaged into Line’s existing (and/or future) streaming services.
“There is no change in our current strategy in which we strive to provide a variety of content such as games, music and videos on the Line platform,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch in an additional statement.
It could have all been very different had Nokia, which owned MixRadio before it was acquired by Microsoft, opted to spin the music service out. That was one option under consideration back in 2014 before its sale to Line.