HP in talks with labels about cloud music service
Hewlett-Packard is hard at work laying the foundation for their own music locker service. In the wake of Amazon, Google and Apple publicizing their latest efforts to move user’s music collections to the cloud, HP has been negotiating terms with music labels for their own yet-to-be-named service, Billboard reports.
HP has already hinted at such a service, when marketing materials for their TouchPad tablet included talk of an HP store for music and movies. Like Amazon and Google’s current offerings, HP plans to stream content to users, though they also have goals of streaming content that users don’t already own, something none of the current locker services have been able to offer.
But there’s a reason those services don’t currently offer such a feature, and much of it likely lies with the labels. HP’s talks with the labels are still in the early stages, and they certainly don’t carry the same rapport with said labels as Apple does. It remains to be seen if they can succeed where others have failed.
HP has a long history of testing the waters of the digital music market without making any serious splash. They solicited partners in 2008 with the intention of building a music service. And they partnered with Starbucks a few years before on a program that ultimately proved unprofitable.
While no one doubts HP’s vast resources–which could certainly enable them to put a serious competitor on the market—what is in doubt is whether they can release a compelling product or just another also-ran. The window remains open, as Amazon, Google and Apple’s services all appear to be in their infancy. Were HP to beat them to market with a true all-you-can-eat streaming option for cloud music consumption, it could be a major coup for both the company and the labels.