From almost utter obscurity, Korean electronics giant, Samsung, has established itself as a force to reckon with in the smartphone market. With the release of their latest brain child the Samsung Galaxy S4, with its robust capabilities and sleek appearance, topped up with a sales record of 10 million handsets in the first 28 days of its release, they are really kicking it.
The once greatly heralded Apple Inc., on the other hand, now appears to be slowly vanishing into oblivion against their chief competitors Samsung and the ferocious attacks on the growing smartphones market, a record drop in quarterly profits of 2.1 million and the numerous court battles of alleged patents infringement is doing little to help this situation.
THE SAMSUNG HUB
But wait, there’s more. Samsung pulled a new card from up their sleeves, the Samsung Hub, which offers the iTunes like services. The Samsung Hub offers the usual music, video, books and games downloads but there is also a music streaming service, Samsung music the equivalent of Pandora.
“Historically we have not really focused on content”, Lee Epting the head of content for Samsung and former head of content at Vodafone said while speaking to The Sunday Times. Samsung has recently bought the rights to release hip hop icon Jay-Z’s music, video and tour material which is inclusive of his latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
The album has been available for download since last 4th July 12, 2013 for free on Samsung hub. In addition to this Samsung has bought 1 million copies of the album for the official release. It is evident that Samsung is throwing its vast cash reserves at the content problem. “The timing is great,” continues Epting, “we have the largest base of devices. This week’s exclusive releases are the coming-out party for our content.”
With a growing market share Samsung having already over taken apple when it comes to selling smart phones in Asia, Europe and America, its key markets, where two in every three smartphone handsets sold are Samsung’s, the market is ripe for content market to be launched. Every minute 15000 songs are downloaded from iTunes. Apple has a leading share of 65 % of the American digital music market and 50 % in the British market, it’s not a surprise Samsung want its own bite on the apple.
The Samsung smartphone can be integrated with a Samsung TV to control content, change channels remotely and order up movies to be watched at home. If you have not completed watching a movie, you can take it to wherever you are going on your smartphone. “It’s all about 360-degrees service. We also do a ‘buy one movie get one free’ offer on Friday nights!” said Epting. The fight for content opens a new front in the continuing war between Samsung and Apple.
Samsung’s content move not only favours them but it also favours the music industry. The music industry was hit hard by the digital revolution, an initial exponential drop in CD sales followed by illegal file-sharing through sites such as File crop, and then the legal digital download sites, iTunes serving as major example.
However, with formation of alliances between record labels and artists there is a shift in the economics of the music industry as we knew it and a sky-rocketing of music sales revenues. Global sales of music rose last year, a first since 1999 according to the London-based International Federation of the Phonographic industry.
DIGITAL MUSIC MARKET IN KENYA
Our Kenyan market should probably try and emulate the international scene and follow trend setters such as Wyre and his infamous deal with Samsung marketing the Samsung chat 322 dual sim phone, and surely there is more to the featuring of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in his new song, ‘Nakupenda pia’ with Jamaican song bird Alaine.
Such partnerships would boost the music industry, creating a major incentive for upcoming artistes and ensuring the longevity of the careers of others who seem likely to become one-hit-wonders.