When the Japanese social gaming giant DeNA (TYO:2432) rebranded a couple of months ago, it also teased an upcoming social music service. Today it has launched, using the not very groovy name ‘Groovy’. With Spotify still not available in Japan, DeNA will be hoping that its latest social app can provide all the music that young smartphone owners need.
Tokyo-based tech blog Startup-Dating notes that Groovy will hit iPhones soon, but for now it’s only on Android. The service has a million songs in its repertoire, and on-screen lyrics are available for about nine-tenths of those – a good idea for Karaoke-crazy Japanese users.
DeNA’s latest social effort – coming five months after it entered the messaging app battle with ‘Comm’ – was made possible by acquiring an existing music app, Discodeer, at the start of this year. That previous app was very popular, passing one million downloads in its first four months, so DeNA will be hoping for an even stronger performance from its Groovy new product.
Groovy is not free, of course, and users will need to buy virtual credits; each credit allows for a particular song to be listened to three times. It sounds like one credit doesn’t get you much; but 17 credits will cost you just 99 yen (US$1.05). For being social and inviting friends, users will get free tokens. It’s not clear if monthly or annual subscriptions will be available later, but the current pay-as-you-listen model sounds like a bit of a killjoy system, meaning that Groovy is not something you could leave on in the background as you work.
So far, its archives are stocked with music from 39 labels, including Sony Music and Universal.
If you’re in Japan, grab Groovy in Google Play.