The overcrowded music streaming industry may be getting a bit more breathing room. According to new reports, Samsung plans to shutter its two-year-old freemium music service, Milk Music, which was originally intended to serve as a chief competitor to Pandora. That turned out to be something of a pipe dream, and now, Samsung looks to be cutting its losses.
For those of you (probably many of you) who never used Milk Music, the service works much like many other players in the space. Users can create radio stations, whose songs are promised to be “hand-picked by experts.” While Milk was initially offered only to Samsung mobile device users, it later became available to anyone online, as well as to Samsung smart TV owners. Along that same vein, Milk Video was also released in late 2014, meant to play host to short-form video content. And while Milk was at one point slated to become a mini-empire within Samsung, those plans never seemed to come to fruition.
Late in 2015, Samsung shut down Milk Video without much fanfare, and it would now appear that Milk Music is barreling toward a similar fate. According to Variety, “a source close to the company [says] that Samsung executives are looking to ‘clean house’ after spending significantly on Milk Music without seeing the expected returns.” Another issue, a source reports, is that while users are more than happy to use the free version of Milk Music, “hardly anyone bothered to pay for Milk’s premium tier, much to the dismay of senior executives.”
Variety also reports, “A lot of people in the organization have left or are shifting positions,” and the same source told the outlet, “There are lots of empty desks and cubes [at Milk Music].”
For its part, however, Samsung has remained relatively tight-lipped about the service’s future.
“It is our policy not to comment on personnel matters,” a Samsung spokesperson told Variety.“Samsung remains committed to delivering engaging, connected entertainment experiences through our Milk platform.”