JB Hi-Fi's NOW Streaming Is Shutting Down

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]

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    I never understood why retailers like jb thought it would be a good idea to get into the streaming biz. Who the hell makes these decisions haha.

      Diversification. It made perfect sense, it just didn't survive...

        JB is a retailer, what made them think that it would be a good idea to compete with the already well established streaming services out there?

        They had no market edge in that scene, it was a horrible decision.

          JB is one of the worlds largest media retailers which has given them excellent relations with Record Companies (which is a pretty excellent "edge") For years JB Now had waaaaay more songs and artists in the catalogue and it expanded rapidly. They launched at a time when streaming music was a relatively new concept in Australia. They regularly streamed new material a week before it was on shelves.

          Virgin was a music retailer, what made them think it'd be a good idea to get into planes, trains, telco, etc?


    Damn it, now I have to put music back on my Zune

    Damn! That music streaming service I have never heard of is shutting down!

      Haha! Yep, first I've ever heard of it too.

    We'll they tried to go with a trend and for a while it looked good but with the big guys (spotify, apple and Google) it's very hard to beat those international companies. Especially with their great software and price. I used it and loved but now I'll have change to google play music.

    For me it is devastating news...
    I have been using this service for the last 2 years. It has one feature that all the big boys don't have. When you touch a song it gives you the options like (Play now, Play Next, Add to Playlist) every other service wants to add EVERY song from that album to the que... Very annoying.

      Pretty sure Spotify lets a single track be added to the queue.

        Thats not what he said. He can tell a song to play now / play next without stopping the queue. Youtube does this too with playlists and its great.

          It is what he said:
          every other service wants to add EVERY song from that album to the que
          So, I'm suggesting that IIRC, Spotify lets a single track be added to the queue.
          Either way, it does what I want.

    I've been using this for 2+ years now since its launch everyday, all day at times at work etc. This is such a shame it is one of the nicest, most simplest streaming services to navigate and you could create your own que's and play lists with just single songs from various artists as well as have Songs offline! I didn't mind paying the price for the great service and its content, it's a shame they've had to cut out this amazing service a lot of music on JB HiFi now also can not be listened to on Apple Music either!

    When I saw this message this morning as I opened up the application to boot up Justin's Purpose album a little bit inside of me died, what will I do now for music, this App has become a common thing in my life and I'm very distraught to see it go!

    Thanks for a well presented, functioning service JB for the last 2 years!

    Well I am also upset by this decision - another local company making a decision to close a service. I am hearing that this was the direct result of commercial pressure applied by a large Tech company who is a trading partner of JB HiFi (methinks Apple?)

    If the issue was its cost to profit ratio then why not put its price up to the same as the others colluding in this space? - Hmm $AU11.99 per month perhaps??

    Thanks Apple you have killed off another local company - well done

    It will be missed by me and the 10 or so friends I had join up. Good pricing and good range as well as a pretty decent app.

    Two years or so with them as well - advert free and easy to use - great range and we will miss this great service - it makes sense that JB was involved - streaming is an alternative to buying CDs so why wouldn't they want of slice of the pie.

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