And just like that, the parts of Nokia that made the company special have been scattered to the wind: Microsoft has dissolved most of the $8+ billion phone business it acquired, HERE is owned by a group of German automakers, and now MixRadio has been axed by its new owner, LINE.
When Microsoft purchased the heart of Nokia—its phone business—a few years back, it should have demanded its soul—HERE—as well, since that would have been a longer-term lucrative business, and one that fits within its modern “annuity” (subscription-based) revenue model. But it didn’t, and now HERE is gone for good.
So, too, is MixRadio. Microsoft did acquire MixRadio with the rest of Nokia, and it was obvious to anyone who had used the service (which at the time offered both free and paid options) that it was special. As important, MixRadio filled a crucial functional gap in Xbox Music/Groove by offering full-featured Internet streaming radio functionality. By integrating MixRadio into Groove, Microsoft could have a service that would stand toe-to-toe with Spotify (and, later, Apple Music) and not be embarrassed.
In December 2014, 8 months after its Nokia acquisition was complete, Microsoft sold MixRadio to LINE. Frustrating? You bet: To fans of Groove like myself, MixRadio was it, the one thing that would have put Grove over the top.
LINE tried, I guess. In May 2015, it released Android and iOS versions of MixRadio, and the service changed to being free and ad-supported, with no paid option. (MixRadio was originally a Lumia, then Windows phone, exclusive.)
Well. It’s dead, Jim.
After a careful assessment of MixRadio’s overall performance, the financial challenges posed by the music streaming market, and priorities of LINE Corporation, LINE has determined that future growth would be difficult to ensure and decided to discontinue the MixRadio music streaming service.
LINE and the MixRadio team would like to thank the users of MixRadio for all of their support of the service.
This sucks. MixRadio, like HERE, was part of what made Nokia special. Was in fact special in its own right. And is now gone.