In 2012, Samsung launched the Music Hub, which combined features from iTunes, Spotify and Pandora. The Hub has since expanded to include videos, eBooks and apps, and it comes preinstalled on Samsung phones. In other words, it was pretty clearly a Google Play competitor.
Google has recently been pressuring Samsung to tone down its Android customizations and to cut back on its bloatware, and last week, Samsung’s Marketing Manager for Technical Media Philip Berne tweeted that “Samsung Hub is going away,” a tweet which has since been deleted.
Now it looks like the gradual shut down of Samsung Hub has begun, with TechRadar reporting that Samsung Music Hub users have received emails that say the Music Hub “will no longer be available” after July 1. The email also directs users to “take the time to download all purchased content and use any remaining vouchers for Samsung Music before July 1, 2014 – after that date they will no longer be available.”
Engadget is also reporting that Samsung is shutting down the eBooks section of the Hub, and will be merging its eBooks store into a “Kindle for Samsung” app.
In addition to playing nice with Google, Samsung’s shuttering of the Music Hub makes sense given its recent Milk Music release. Earlier this year, Samsung launched the Pandora-like music service on Samsung devices in some regions.