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KKBOX partners with Facebook on music sharing service

2012/06/07 20:24:38

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Taiwan's biggest digital music provider KKBOX Inc. announced Thursday a partnership with Facebook on a music sharing service.

The deal, which took effect in April, allows KKBOX subscribers in Taiwan to link their accounts so that their Facebook friends can see what songs they are listening to, "like" the music selections and also sample them.

KKBOX, the first company in the Asia-Pacific region to enter into such a partnership with Facebook, provides a 7-day free trial of its streaming music service for registered Taiwanese Facebook users. They can access KKBOX's music database via personal computers, smartphones or tablets.

"Facebook is the most popular social network at present, with everyone's friends and relatives surfing on it," KKBOX President Alex Wang noted at a media briefing.

"Sharing music via Facebook will give people access to different types of music and allow them to find new friends with common interests," he said. "We believe such integration will also contribute to the development of the music industry."

KKBOX Chief Operating Officer Izero Lee said that in the third quarter of this year, the collaboration will be expanded to Japan and Hong Kong, where the company has already launched unlimited music streaming services.

In June last year, KKBOX launched a music service for mobile phone users in Japan, in partnership with RecoChoku, Japan's largest digital music content provider.

The pay-per-month service, called "LISMO unlimited," is offered through Japanese mobile phone operator KDDI Corp. at a cost of $1,480 Japanese yen (US$19/NT$556).

It provides unlimited on-demand music streaming services for KDDI smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

Currently KDDI holds a 67.5 percent stake in KKBOX, with Taiwan smartphone maker HTC Corp. holding 11.1 percent and KKBOX's management team retaining 21.4 percent.

Lee said KKBOX hopes to expand its cooperation with KDDI to the smart TV businesses, with the Japanese operator expected to pre-install KKBOX services in its set-top boxes that are sold to high-definition TV customers.

Further, KKBOX plans to launch its music services in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of this year, which is expected to boost the company's total number of paid subscribers to more than 1 million in 2012, Lee said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)