The smartphone vendor is working on its own streaming music service, according to a report from GigaOm. The service would purportedly become the default music client on HTC phones and tablets, and pricing and plans are getting worked out.
This wouldn’t be HTC’s first foray into the music scene. Last summer, the company acquired a majority stake in Beats Audio, the headphone business started by rapper Dr. Dre and music industry executive Jimmy Iovine. While the deal got HTC access to Beats headphones for its phones, GigaOm said the company is now working with Iovine on the streaming music service as well.
With many smartphones running the same Google operating system and offering similar specifications, it’s more important than ever for vendors to ensure their products stand out. HTC had hoped the integration of Beats headphones and audio technology into its phones would turn a few heads, but one of its early offerings, the Rezound for Verizon Wireless, failed to make much of an impact. Music, however, is a key component to the smartphone experience, and HTC could see some success if it can create a service that is different enough.
Of course, HTC would run into a lot of competition. Streaming music services, including Pandora, Slacker, and Spotify are already readily available. In many cases, those services are free to use.
HTC could announce the service at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, GigaOm said.