Line launches paid music streaming service in Japan

The messaging app is available from US$2.43 per month for students

Screenshots from Line Music, a music streaming service launched in Japan on June 11, 2015, that will feature domestic and foreign artists.

Screenshots from Line Music, a music streaming service launched in Japan on June 11, 2015, that will feature domestic and foreign artists.

Japanese messaging app Line is bolstering its dominance in Japan with a paid on-demand music streaming service featuring an initial catalog of over 1.5 million songs.

Line Music is an app and a Tokyo subsidiary that began streaming music in Japan by domestic and foreign artists on Thursday.

The catalog covers music from about 30 labels and publishers, including Sony Music Entertainment Japan, in genres including classical, dance music and J-pop, or Japanese pop. Line plans to expand the catalog to 5 million songs this year, and aims for over 30 million in 2016.

Those on iOS and Android platforms will get to try the service for free for two months, after which they'll be charged ¥1,000 (US$8.11) per month for unlimited access, or ¥500 for 20 hours. There's also a plan for students from ¥300. A browser version of the service will begin in July so users can access it via PC.

Songs can be sent to and played on the Line messaging app and shared with friends. Users without a Line Music subscription can listen to 30 seconds of a song and share it with others.

The launch follows Line's debut last month of Line Music Thailand, which offers unlimited access for 60 Thai baht ($1.78) per month. The Japanese service also comes days after the announcement of Apple Music, which Apple is offering at $9.99 per month, with a six-member family subscription running $14.99 per month.

Known for its cartoonish emoticon characters, also called stickers, Line was launched in the months after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan and enjoyed skyrocketing growth.

It now claims over 200 million monthly active users, about 17 billion messages exchanged every day and the top share for messaging apps in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. There are 13 countries where it has more than 10 million users.

The subsidiary of South Korean Internet portal Naver has diversified into offering a ride-hailing service in Japan, going up against Uber and Hailo. While Line's new streaming service shows that it wants to bolster its base as it eyes further expansion overseas, it faces massive competition in North America from the likes of WhatsApp.

"Stickers and emoji are very popular in the U.S. and we are leveraging that position," Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa said last month, just a few weeks after taking charge of the company. "Our biggest strategy is to look at the trends of individual markets and localize to meet those trends," he said.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetsonyInternet-based applications and servicesLine

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?