DeNA launches ‘Groovy’ music distribution platform, adding social to the listening experience


groovy_logoDeNA (TYO:2432), the Japanese internet giant behind the Mobage social gaming platform and the Comm messaging app, has unveiled its Groovy music player app for the Android platform. An iOS version will follow soon.

It was developed using an app framework from Discodear, the music player app developed by Tokyo-based web conglomerate United. It allows users to play their favorites from a selection of more than 1 million songs, in partnership with 39 music labels including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, and Victor Entertainment.

When you signs up for an account, you receive complimentary tickets worth 30 credits, with one credit allowing you to listen to a song up to three times a month. Tickets worth 17 credits are available for 99 yen (or about a dollar), and complimentary tickets will be given when you invite your friends to the service as well. Prior to the purchase of a song, users are allowed a 45-second preview.


The app has also a social media function, which lets you be a ‘fan’ of a song when you listen to it more than three times. The interest graph lets you see what other users with similar tastes are listening to. This feature is also intended to promote live performances to users [1].

For more than 900,000 out of the million songs in the archive, the app can shows you lyrics while you listen. This obviously would be great preparation for Karaoke sessions, for anyone who is into that sort of thing!

Spotify-like flat-rate subscription models are attracting a lot of customers in the overseas market [2]. But DeNA figures that such models would be harder in terms of user acquisition, this according to the company’s CEO Isao Moriyasu. They have no intention to integrate the service with their gaming platform or other services, but they expect to create a social network platform specifically designed for sharing music experiences.

  1. Korean music startup, Mironi, who we’ve recently featured in Japanese, has a very similar concept. The DeNA music app will be a formidable competitor for them in the Japanese market.  ↩

  2. Spotify is still unavailable here in Japan.  ↩