Samsung Electronics has acquired mSpot, an independent music and video cloud-based streaming company based in the US, for an undisclosed sum. Guy Daniels reports.
A US-based provider of entertainment streaming services – which provides white-label solutions to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint – has been acquired by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics for an undisclosed sum. The eight-year-old company was co-founded by Daren Tsui and Ed Ho and is based in Palo Alto, California.
The press release accompanying the announcement says that the acquisition will provide a cloud-based entertainment experience of music, video and radio services for users of Samsung devices, while extending mSpot's cloud and streaming solutions to a broader base of consumers.
TJ Kang, SVP of Samsung Electronics’ Media Solution Center, said mSpot’s entertainment services will be a key integrated offering on newly announced Samsung mobile devices, including tablets:
“mSpot shares our vision to bring a best-in-class cloud and streaming entertainment experience to consumers, and they’ve backed it up with innovative technical solutions from a great engineering team.”
According to a local South Korean news source, discussions between the two companies have been underway for over a year.
Today’s completion of the deal – rumoured to be in the region of $8.8 million – is thought to be Samsung’s first acquisition of a software firm.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy SIII last week, the markets expected an announcement about its cloud strategy, yet none was forthcoming. With Google, Microsoft and Apple all ramping up their new cloud content services and stores, and even LG launching its own cloud service, Samsung was in danger of being left behind. Indeed, at the Galaxy SIII launch it announced a partnership with Dropbox to provide 50GB of free cloud storage with each purchase.
It remains unclear if it had planned to develop its own service in-house, but has managed to secure a much talked-about, if small, solution with commercial customers – for very little money. But it could have simply partnered with mSpot for far less money, or one of the more popular services like Spotify or Rdio. There’ll be plenty of speculation as to the real reason behind the deal with Daren Tsui and Ed Ho’s company.
The mSpot cloud music service offers 5GB of free storage to consumers, which it says is the equivalent of around 4,000 songs, and which can be accessed on one mobile device. Users have to download a desktop installer app, then physically upload their songs to mSpot’s servers. A paid alternative offers 40GB of storage (or around 32,000 songs) for $3.99 per month and supports syncing to five mobiles. It also comes with access to lyrics when streaming songs.
mSpot claims to be the first company to stream a full-format radio service in the US, as well as the first to provide a cloud locker service for music. The real-time streaming service supports more than 30 different smartphones including Android devices, iPhones and BlackBerry. In addition, its white label services for carriers currently serves Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, which the company claims is accessed by more than six million mobile customers.
Discussing the deal, mSpot CEO Daren Tsui said:
“Samsung is unparalleled in terms of global reach and cutting edge devices; with our combined resources, we are looking forward to redefining media consumption across the mobile universe with cloud services.”
It remains unclear if mSpot will continue to support iPhone and BlackBerry mobile, or just support Samsung’s own devices. Neither are there any details of an integration timeframe.
please sign in to rate this article