Best Buy Co. (BBY), the world’s largest consumer-electronics retailer, is expanding a U.K. online music platform to the U.S. to challenge Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Apple Inc. in so-called cloud-based offerings, the technology supplier said.
Best Buy’s U.S. Music Cloud service, powered by Catch Media Inc., is available for mobile devices such as Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry smartphone and those using Android technology, Catch Media Chief Executive Officer Yaacov Ben-Yaacov said today in a phone interview.
The platform, marketed as My Music Anywhere in the U.K., is designed allow users to stream content they have purchased to a computer, mobile phone or tablet, eliminating the need to transfer and store computer files, Beverly Hills, California-based Catch Media said in a June 14 statement. The service is similar to Amazon’s Cloud Player, introduced in late March, and Apple’s iCloud platform, which will be rolled out this fall.
Best Buy has yet to formally announce the U.S. service, though Music Cloud can be downloaded at Google Inc.’s Android-platform online application store. Voicemail messages seeking comment from Scott Morris, a spokesman for Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy, and at the company’s press relations phone number weren’t immediately answered.
Cloud computing allows users to store data such as digital music collections online. My Music Anywhere has been available in the U.K. for about a year and is offered at Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse Group Plc (CPW) outlets. Catch Media said the service is now available on all Android-powered devices in addition to BlackBerry units and Apple (AAPL)’s iOS platforms.
Closely held Catch Media has a combination of music-industry licenses for Music Cloud, including agreements with major record labels, Ben-Yaacov said. Record companies have struck licensing deals with music-streaming sites such as Spotify Ltd., Rdio Inc. and Music Unlimited to counter the effects of piracy and a drop in purchases of compact discs.
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