Samsung on Friday (March 7) became the latest entrant into the highly active streaming-music category with the introduction of Milk Music, an ad-free radio service distributed exclusively on Galaxy devices for the U.S. The launch arrives on the eve of South By Southwest, where Samsung will have an active yet, at the moment, stealth presence that will include several media events and an as-yet-unannounced concert featuring a hip-hop legend next Saturday, March 15 -- a follow-up to last year’s surprise performance starring Prince.
The service is powered by Slacker and requires no username, password or opt-ins. After agreeing to a brief terms of service, users are immediately linked to an FM-like radio deal of genre stations that immediately play topical songs that can go as niche or broad as a user’s tastes may skew. (Backpack Rap, with underground suggestions like Doomtree and Mr. Lif? Check. Daytime Dance, featuring new selections from Groove Armada and Two Door Cinema Club? You’re covered.) Each station allows six song “skips” per hour, a number that refreshes every time you select a new station. Users can also tweak a station to serve more or less selections based on how much they like a particular song. Click-to-buy links driving to Samsung’s Music Hub or the Google Play Store are in the works.
Samsung’s mission with Milk was two-fold, says Ryan Bidan, Samsung Mobile’s director of product marketing. “We heard from consumers that there were too many ads and interruptions on free services, and that set-up could be a pain with log-ins and navigating spreadsheets,” he says. Plus, “we wanted it to be identified as something completely different. We didn’t want it to be super corporate or Samsung-y because it’s not meant to be. We wanted a name that spoke to how we felt about music inside the application, the idea of being fuzzy and nice -- you know, like mother’s milk.”