Samsung is finally pulling the plug on its Milk Music streaming service: The company started to notify users of Milk Music Friday that it will shut down the service on September 22. Samsung told existing users to instead switch to Slacker, which has been powering Milk since its launch.
The company issued the following statement on the closure:
“Samsung is sun setting its Samsung Milk Music service in the United States on September 22, 2016. We have made the strategic decision to invest in a partner model focused on seamlessly integrating the best music services available today into our family of Galaxy devices. We believe that working with partners will accelerate innovation, enhance device sales and provide amazing new experiences for our customers.”
Samsung launched Milk Music as a Pandora-like free personalized radio service in 2014. Milk Music was part of a bigger plan to woo potential Samsung handset customers with exclusive media services, while also adding a services revenue opportunity later down the line. In addition to Milk Music, Samsung also launched a video aggregation app dubbed Milk Video, and planned an expansion into additional verticals, including sports.
However, Samsung’s Milk media plans were short-lived: Milk video shut down in September of 2015, just a year after its launch. Samsung’s U.S.-based services group subsequently went through a series of layoffs.
The writing for Milk Music was on the wall with the latest round of departures in July, which included bizdev SVP Steve Stanford, content and services SVP Darren Tsui, VP Ed Ho, content and services VP and GM Ian Langridge and EVP of media solutions John Pleasants.
Pleasants, who had previously been co-president of Disney’s Interactive Media Group, COO of Electronic Arts and CEO of Ticketmaster, was one of the strongest proponents of Samsung’s attempts to build its own media services. With him gone, and his former group largely dismantled, it’s likely that Samsung will instead strike alliances with existing services while focusing all its internal efforts on the handsets themselves.
Update 2:24pm: This post was updated with an official statement from Samsung.