In the age of free Spotify and cheap Apple Music, it's very hard for competing music streaming apps and businesses to stay alive. After Rdio closed its doors late last year, JB Hi-Fi NOW is next on the chopping block — the Aussie music listening service will shut down in a month from today.
After readers and JB Hi-Fi staff contacted us yesterday to share their tips, it's now official — a statement on the JB Hi-Fi Now says that the music streaming service will stop operating from the 17th of March; no new subscriptions will be able to be purchased or redeemed as of today. Any gift cards specifically for the JB Hi-Fi NOW streaming service will now function as regular JB Hi-Fi store credit vouchers. Anyone subscribed to NOW beyond the 17th of March will be refunded their remaining account credit.
In an email to staff yesterday, JB pointed out the fact that the dominance of freemium streaming — ad-supported streaming services like Spotify that have become commonplace — has made it almost impossible for full-fat paid subscription services to survive. The same email says that JB is committed to physical music, though, with continued success selling CDs and vinyl within its 180 stores around Australia.
To all JB Hi-Fi Team Members, It is with sadness that we inform you that the JB Hi-Fi Now Music Streaming Service will be closing down on the 17th Of March 2016. We are all very proud of the world class service the in-house team at JB Hi-Fi built, but the every changing streaming marketplace and the dominance of freemium services had made t very difficult to capture a paying premium subscriber. The music delta ember is entrenched in the DNA of JB Hi-Fi and we are resolute in our going commitment to physical music. Engaging with our core consumer outside the store is key to ongoing success of CD's and Vinyl and JB And the music team are very excited about future plans to amplify that engagement. We look forward to sharing those plans soon.
The JB Hi-Fi video streaming service, which is an Ultraviolet digital video locker for DVD and Blu-ray movie buyers to stream their physical purchases online, continues its business as usual. [JB Hi-Fi NOW]