Back in April there was speculation that HP was getting ready its own cloud-based media service that would be the backbone to its HP Music and Movies store. With the cloud services of Amazon, Google, and Apple already unveiled and the TouchPad's release date fast approaching, rumors on HP's cloud offering has reignited with multiple sources from the major record labels claiming that discussions with HP are heating up.
"They're debating doing something like Qriocity for a variety of media, which can be delivered on any HP device," a major-label executive says. "We don't know how serious they are." That's because HP has been down this path before. HP has been studying the music industry to find its niche for almost a decade.
It first partnered with Starbucks back in 2003 and 2005 as the back-end for the download-and-burn music kiosks. That effort was soon abandoned after it couldn't prove profitability. Just last year, HP acquired Melodeo but that music effort has also failed to catch on.
"They have the capabilities," a source says. "The question is, can they build something that is compelling, cool and dynamic that will appeal to music consumers."
However, sources say that HP was placed on the back burner as labels were focused on completing negotiations with Amazon, Google, and Apple. And although discussions with HP are now heating up, it could still take another six months before HP can deliver a full-blown service.