The digital media distribution business is a tough one. While many companies have tried to sell digital goods, only a few have been successful. In the videos space there's really only been four: iTunes, Xbox Video, Amazon and Google Play. Because of this, Samsung has decided to leave the industry to the big boys.
As of August 1st Media Hub and Video Hub will be shut down. If you've made purchases there either of these services you will be able to transfer them to M-Go for free. You will also get a $5 gift card and 50% discount on future rentals. At least that should ease the pain for the few who were using the services.
This is not the first time Samsung has decided to close a media business. Just this month Samsung closed its Music Hub. That service was intended to take on Spotify and Xbox Music. Obviously it was not successful either.
But this is not the end for Samsung and media. Even while closing one music door they opened another. Samsung's new, strangely named, Milk Music is intended to take on Pandora with a shuffled streaming model. The service is currently ad free, though that will change.
It also appears that Samsung is not done with video. Working again with M-Go, Samsung plans to launch a streaming 4k video service. Just like their remodeled music service this appears to be all about changing the business model. Rather than competing against Apple and Microsoft, Samsung now plans to compete against Netflix and Hulu.
What I can't tell is whether this is an intelligent pivot from a company who recognized that their products did not match their strong suits, or a desperate shift to an market that they believe will return more money. If it's the former, Samsung will have to bring something to the table. If it's the latter, Samsung will squeeze until they don't see a return and move on to a new pet project. Either way, what I don't think Samsung is prepared for is the fierce competition in the video streaming market.
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