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Smartphone Market Intensifies Competition among Digital Music Portals
High Quality Sound War
Smartphone Market Intensifies Competition among Digital Music Portals
  • By Michael Herh
  • September 30, 2016, 03:00
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The intense competition in the high definition digital music market is closely connected to the launches of smartphones with their focuses on audio performances.
The intense competition in the high definition digital music market is closely connected to the launches of smartphones with their focuses on audio performances.

 

With intensifying competition for higher audio specifications (performances) among smartphones, a lot of attention is converging on the high definition digital music market.    Meanwhile, a high-priced player has been required to enjoy high quality digital music. But now more advanced smartphones are able to do that.

According to the relevant industry on September 29, NHN Entertainment running sound portal Bugs had 5.9 million FLAC (free lossless audio codec) songs, up 41% from a month ago. The number increased seven-fold from 800,000 in April of last year. Bugs is planning to steadily increase the number of FLAC songs such as expanding its FLAC songs into 200 million by year’s end.   

NHN Entertainment took over Bugs Music from Neowiz Internet in May 2015. Bugs Music launched Korea’s first FLAC download service in 2009. In February 2015, its Android application was launched and began to offer an FLAC music streaming service. NHN Entertainment made its FLAC streaming service available via an Apple application in September of last year after taking over Bugs. In August of this year, the company acquired Goovers which operates a website specializes in high quality digital music.  

Loen Entertainment, the operator of Melon, began to bolster its high definition digital music service. In terms of the number of visitors, Melon ranks first, accounting for the half of the Korean digital music market. But Melon has 2.5 million high definition digital songs which are about the half of that of Bugs. “We will expand relevant services such as ramping up the number of FLAC songs to three million within this month,” said a representative of Roen Entertainment. 

These moves are closely connected to the launches of smartphones with their focuses on audio performances. The V20, V10 and G5 of LG Electronics, the Experia X Performance of Sony and IM100 of Pantech were loaded with powerful DAC chips. Thus, users of these smartphones can enjoy 16- to 32-bit high definition digital music. Unlike general MP3 files, FLAC files, when supported by proper DAC performances, can reproduce digital music as it is.