Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi wouldn’t be the first company that comes to mind when looking for a music streaming service. Before the end of the year JB Hi-Fi NOW will launch before the end of 2011. The service will be accessible via Mac, PC or mobile device. Which mobile devices are yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely to be iPhone and Android initially, it’d be nice to see a WP7 app as well.
Without pricing it’s hard to gauge weather this will be a hit with consumers, but looking at trends internationally, subscription music services are clearly the way of the future. The best offer streaming while online, but also allow syncing of your favourite playlists locally to devices. This solves the issue of trying to stream across sketchy 3G network coverage. The best of both worlds if you like.
Naturally if you stop paying, the music goes away, unless it turns out to be Zune-like and allows you to keep 10 songs a month.
The Australian music streaming market is very half-pregnant right now. Sony’s Qriocity Unlimited has pretty much no traction or brand awareness. The anubis.fm has a ridiculous requirement to be a SONOS owner and still no mobile apps. Microsoft’s Zune Pass hasn’t launched in Australia, so if done right, JB Hi-Fi’s NOW music service has a good chance. Not because NOW will be a great service, there’s very little detail right now, but because the others are failing at delivering what consumers want.
JB Hi-Fi’s website features some of the most appalling web design online, so having that team design this service would be a detrimental mistake. Please JB, hire an external firm to design the service, make it slick, cheap, affordable and market it well and you may actually have a revenue stream to replace your crashing retail business.
More info @ Gizmodo