HP looks to be making a play for the mobile music streaming business with the acquisition of Seattle-based startup Melodeo.
The IT giant is paying up to $35 million (€28.4 million) for the business, which delivers music streaming from the cloud to the web or mobile devices, outbidding HTC and other rivals, says blogsite Tech Crunch, which broke news of the deal.
Taiwan-based HTC was also a keen bidder for stricken handset-maker Palm, which HP purchased for $1.2 billion in April.
Melodeo is similar to other music streaming services such as Lala or Pandora, but its strength is in mobile.
Its core product line is nuTsie (an anagram of iTunes), which scans users’ iTunes playlists and allows them to access the playlists on mobile devices across most smartphone platforms.
It has just over two million unique visitors a month to its website, with two million downloads for the nuTsie apps.
The next version of nuTsie will let users copy their entire music library into the cloud and will also be accessible from multiple platforms, Tech Crunch says.
“By unlocking your entire iTunes library and making it essentially fully functional on several devices, Melodeo is presenting a serious challenge (or at least a sizable disruption) to Apple’s music business model,” it adds.
“The more portable a user’s music library is, the easier it is for users to step outside the Apple ecosystem.”
Apple acquired Lala last December and controversially shuttered its music streaming service in May, making the tracks already purchased unplayable. However, it is expected to use Lala’s technology to offer cloud-based iTunes services later this year.