Japanese messaging app Line has purchased Microsoft’s MixRadio streaming music service. It follows the recent announcement of Line Music, a rival service to Spotify, Pandora, and many others; but according to musically.com, MixRadio will operate independently, and not be absorbed into Line’s own forthcoming service.
The reason, according to a MixRadio spokesman, is Line Music is designed for the Japanese market, while MixRadio will continue to be used worldwide. Line Music is backed by Sony and Tokyo-based Avex Digital, which apparently hosts primarily Japanese acts, making its local focus logical. MixRadio saves Line the bother of negotiating new licensing deals outside of Japan.
MixRadio will be familiar to Lumia smartphone owners, and has come bundled on Windows Phone devices produced by Nokia since its relaunch in late 2013. Most recently, it was a standout feature on the Nokia’s X-series phones – the firm’s short-lived experiment with Android.
In its official press release on Line’s acquisition, Microsoft says MixRadio is available in 31 countries, and despite the deal, will remain based in the UK. It also promises to continue making MixRadio better, but only mentions Lumia phones, indicating any plans to bring the app to iOS or Android haven’t been moved forward yet. Line’s app operates across most major smartphone platforms, so this could change in the future.
MixRadio’s acquisition comes soon after Line pushed a major update out to its messaging app, introducing the Line Pay mobile payment system to its subscribers. Although it’s limited to purchasing in-app content at the moment, eventually Line hopes it will be used to pay for goods all over the Internet, and in retail stores.