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Despite the woes of the music industry over the past decade, few things are as popular as music. Not surprisingly, that's true on the internet too.

Just how popular is music on the internet? Consider that once-dominant social network MySpace, long written off by many as effectively dead, has managed to attract 1m new users primarily with a revamped music player.

In the mobile space, manufacturer HTC, facing challenges competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung, may be making a similar bet that focusing on music will help it sell more of its phones.

According to GigaOm's Om Malik, HTC may partner with headphone maker Beats to launch a streaming music service:

My sources say that HTC, which last year acquired a substantial stake in Beats Audio, a company started by  Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, is said to be working with Iovine, a music industry iconoclast to develop a streaming service that will be offered as a default music client on HTC phones and tablets. My sources say that the company is still working on pricing plans and other details. It has long harbored ambitions of offering a music service on HTC devices, folks familiar with HTC say.

Malik says that HTC had previously been in talks with Spotify, but Spotify, like so many other music services, hasn't exactly had an easy go of it dealing with record labels. With Jimmy Iovine's help, however, an HTC-Beats streaming music service could find the support needed to get a service off the ground.

If the rumors are true and a deal materializes, it could prove to be a win-win for everybody. HTC needs to differentiate itself, and phones that appeal to the audiophile in all of us could be one viable avenue for doing that. At the same time, Malik notes that record labels are concerned about Spotify establishing an iTunes-like position in the streaming market, so an HTC-Beats streaming music service could help them ensure that Spotify has competition.

Patricio Robles

Published 15 February, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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John Jones

Beats have been so successful and have built up such a large brand following that it makes sense for them to want to take the next step and launch a streaming service.

over 3 years ago

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