Taiwanese phone-maker HTC is rumored to be working on a music streaming service that would compete with iTunes, Google Music and Spotify. According to GigaOM, this new music service would be the default client on all new lines of HTC smartphones and tablets.
HTC has already invested $300 million to get majority stake in Beats Audio, the company co-founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine. This partnership has resulted in Beats headphones being packaged with HTC smartphones.
Now HTC is hoping to rely on Iovine’s industry connections (he is credited with launching the careers of Eminem and Lady Gaga) to develop a music streaming service that would replace Google Music, the current client on HTC’s Android-based smartphones.
Instead of selling and buying individual songs through an online music marketplace like iTunes, HTC is looking into streaming options more similar to the Spotify strategy. Pricing for subscription plans to the new streaming model were not made available, although more details could be officially unveiled as early as this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Last August, Iovine told The Los Angeles Times that HTC has been the “technology partner” they needed to push Beats into making innovative changes in audio technology. At CES in January, Iovine hinted at a more integrated partnership between Beats and HTC to be expected this year. “Music has got to succeed on the phone or else the record industry will never thrive,” he told BusinessWeek.
HTC is also set to be working on a Bluetooth-connected wireless boombox, while Beats Audio continues to partner with Hewlett-Packard computers and Chrysler and Dodge sedans.