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LINE, the Japanese messaging app with 205 million active users, is continuing its platform expansion by launching its own in-app music streaming service. First tested in Thailand two months ago, the paid service is now officially rolling out in Japan, LINE’s main market.
According to the source, however, due to the stronghold of conservative record labels, Japan remains a rare instance in the global markets where music streaming has yet taken hold and sales of physical copies still dominates—even Spotify doesn’t have much presence in the country. Therefore, LINE will have to find a way to leverage its huge user base to jump-start the music streaming market.
This new service came as a natural step in LINE’s vigorous platform expansion. Within the past year alone, the popular messaging app has introduced its own mobile payment component, dipped into in-app ecommerce in Taiwan and SE Asian markets, launched LINE Taxi to compete with Uber in Japan, and even pilot-tested LINE TV, a YouTube-like video service in Thailand. This new branch-out into music stream will continue to diversify its services and revenues, showcasing the vast potential that messaging apps hold as full-fledged media platforms.