Line has introduced Line Music Thailand as part of a trial run to test the waters on a paid subscription service to accompany its instant messaging app. The service is currently limited to Thailand, but there is apparently plans to expand the streaming to other countries.
Thailand is Line’s second biggest market, after Japan, and looks to be a fertile testing ground for the new music streaming service. The country lacks the presence of other big name competitors, aside from French streaming service Deezer, which could provide many new subscribers; especially considering that Line is only charging 60 Baht (about RM6.44) per month for access.
Line will be partnering with Thai music label RS Music to provide a substantial catalogue of local artists, although Line has declined to say just how many tracks the new service will have. It has, however, said that Line Music will integrate with its Line messaging app, allowing friends to share music among themselves.
Expanding Line Music into more countries will not come as a surprise, considering that the company had already bought MixRadio from Microsoft not too long ago. The company is currently running both services independently, but it could only be a matter of time before the two are merged into a single entity. It is likely that MixRadio is being kept separate to operate in places like the USA, where Line faces considerably more resistance in entering.
For now, Line’s Thai users will be able to download the new Line Music app and get a one month trial. Interestingly, there does not appear to be an ad supported free listening option, although there is something known as the ‘Preview’ mode for non-subscribers.