Japan-based LINE acquires (ex-Nokia) MixRadio

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Yes, just catching up with a few news stories that happened just before the Christmas break. Although there's precisely zero impact to any MixRadio users in the short term, it should be noted that LINE, an instant messenger-based company in Japan, has ended up being the entity to come to MixRadio's rescue in terms of funding. LINE's intention is to use the service to bolster its own streaming music ambitions, as per the quotes below.

From LINE's own press release:

LINE, global owner and operator of the free call and messaging app, announced today that is has reached a definitive agreement to acquire MixRadio, a free personal music streaming service, from Microsoft Corporation.

As the world’s leading mobile messenger with 170 million monthly active users in 230 countries, LINE constantly seeks to expand its range of services to become an integral part of consumers' daily lives. Acknowledging the fact that Music and Entertainment are essential aspects in life, LINE has chosen to acquire MixRadio, a highly acclaimed service that offers the world’s most personal and truly mobile-optimized music streaming service to millions of listeners across 31 countries. 

MixRadio will continue to collaborate with Microsoft to offer a personalized music experience as a third party service on Lumia smartphones. The MixRadio team firmly believes that LINE is the optimal partner to support the company’s future expansion and development. 

MixRadio has already begun expansion across new devices and platforms such as home audio and wearables. It has also recently launched its own recommendation engine with the aim of delivering the next level of personalized music listening. The team that developed MixRadio, along with the MixRadio leadership team, will join the new company, and continue to be headquartered in Bristol, United Kingdom.

So no change in the short (or even medium) term then. In fact, the definite investment should provide a nice shot in the arm for the UK-based team. As with other previously Windows Phone-only services, you shouldn't be surprised to see MixRadio pop up on other platforms through 2015 though. All driven by the same recommendation engine and delivery platform, of course.

MixRadio was started under Nokia's watch, but there were always tensions the closer it got to Microsoft, which has its own music download and streaming ideas, so it's good to see the service find a new backer, even if Japan feels rather far away from both Finland and the UK.

See also our story here, from six months ago, with some of the MixRadio back story and quotes, along with a few guesses (heh) from us at the time(!)

Source / Credit: LINE