In the U.S., the streaming service battle is dominated by a few names: Spotify, Tidal, and now Apple. (Smaller services like Rdio have mostly fallen out of the conversation.) But overseas, there is other competition—at least for now. This morning, The Verge reported that the Japanese app company Line started a streaming service in Japan, where Rdio, Pandora, and Spotify are not available. Line Music is free for the first two months; after that, interested users pay roughly $8 for unlimited streaming. The service has approximately 1.5 million tracks to choose from. (For comparison, Apple Music is expected to have about 30 million.)
Line's launch will be an interesting experiment: Japan is known as one of the last bastions for CD-buyers. Last fall, The New York Times noted, “in Japan, the compact disc is still king,” before describing a packed Tower Records store.