By Patrick Avenell
Pure Australasia, in conjunction with its local business partner Pioneer Australia, will next year launch a subscription music streaming for DAB+ radios, personal computers, tablets and smartphones.
Called Pure Lounge, the service will cost around $10 per month and is due to launch in April 2012. Users will be able to stream songs and albums from Pure’s database of 18 million songs, purchase and download MP3 files and share these songs across different platforms.
Importantly, this service will essentially be brand agnostic, with streaming to all iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, and both Windows PCs and Macs. The only Pure hardware is for digital radio products, though the service does not require the user to ever purchase a digital radio.
Pure’s two major extant competitors, Sony (Music Unlimited, formely Qriocity) and Samsung (Music Hub), both require users to access their services on the hardware they manufacture, except in the case of PC use. For example, Music Hub only works on Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets, and Samsung Smart TVs. The Pure Lounge service is cross-platform, with apps for both Android and iPhone/iPad free to download.
Pure Lounge will also compete with JB Hi-Fi, which is expected to launch its JB Now service for Apple and Android devices soon.
Two of Pure’s UK parent company, Imagination Technologies, three biggest shareholders are Intel Capital Corporation and Apple Inc. This investment in Imagination Technologies is currently driving a wave of development and innovation, with Pure Lounge one of the major touchstones of this growth.
In a demonstration of this service to Current.com.au, Pure (UK) director of sales Peter Blampied showed how the service works using a Pure digital radio. While in the car or at home, if an appealing song comes on the radio, one taps the Buy button on their device.
When the Lounge is accessed from a PC or mobile device, the song automatically appears in their profile. Blampied estimated the cost of a single purchase to be around $1. Alternatively, if the user is not in a Wi-Fi hotspot, they can choose to Tag a song, with all devices remembering this for subsequent purchase.
Blampied further confirmed that songs purchased and downloaded will be MP3 files 320kb/s, and will not include digital rights management. He assured prospective users that they could move songs between unlimited devices, providing these devices were compatible with the file type.
Pure Australasia is releasing eight DAB+ products with access to the Lounge, with RRPs ranging from $199 to $799. These radios cover a gamut of shapes and sizes, from a basic tabletop design to clock radio, retro cube, modern sphere and a micro system. Three of these radios also include an iPod/iPhone dock.