KKBOX, a cloud-based music service provider from Taiwan, will officially launch an unlimited pay-per-month service in Singapore and Malaysia this March, as part of expansion plans into Southeast Asia.
The company wants to grow its footprint beyond Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan to other Chinese language music markets, said KKBOX managing director Alex Wang, in a report by Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) on Thursday.
Free registration for the trial service has already started in Singapore and Malaysia in January this year. Once formally launched next month, the music streaming service will likely cost S$9.90 (US$7.99) and MYR 14.90 (US$4.81), he added.
KKBOX was founded in Taiwan in 2004, and currently has more than 10 million songs in its library. The company is currently majority owned by Japanese mobile phone operator KDDI which holds 67.5 percent stake. The KKBOX's management team holds 21.4 percent and Taiwan smartphone maker HTC holds 11.1 percent, the report said.
According to the company, when KKBOX launched its music service in Hong Kong in November 2009, it gained about 200,000 registered users within the first year.
Wang said he expects similar first-year growth in Singapore and Malaysia. The company has increased its digital music database in both countries by partnering local music artists and publishers, he noted.
"Local partners are very important to us. We have been in talks with several telecom operators and banks there because they have a wider customer base and mature payment systems," Wang pointed out.
Wang added that KKBOX will also target Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines as part of the aim to become the leading music streaming service provider in Asia.
In Japan, KKBOX also plans to launch its own music service in March that would introduce more Chinese-language songs in the country, the report said. The company already offers a pay-per-month cloud music service, called "LISMO unlimited", for mobile subscribers at 1,480 yen (US$15.84) since June 2011. The service was a partnership with operator KDDI and RecoChoku, Japan's largest digital music content provider.