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Saturday 1 October 2016

Robbie Williams, Alesha Dixon back TV plug-in music streaming service

Published 14/10/2015 | 11:36

Robbie Williams has given his support to the new streaming service
Robbie Williams has given his support to the new streaming service

Robbie Williams and Alesha Dixon are among the musicians who have lent their support to a new music streaming device that promises to challenge Spotify and Apple Music.

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The Electric Jukebox plugs into the back of a TV and claims to offer a simpler solution than subscription services and connected speaker systems by requiring no downloads or set-up, or monthly fees once plugged in.

Instead, the first year of use will come with a free Pass, which normally costs £60. Once this expires, full screen TV ads will be part of a free version of the service, though new Year Passes can be bought for an upfront fee of £60.

The device's founder, Rob Lewis, said the aim was to challenge the likes of Spotify and Apple Music by making streaming more accessible, calling the current process "ridiculously impossible to do".

"We want everyone to be able to listen to the music they want and to be able to listen together. Life is best lived with the sound of music, not the sound of silence.

"TV is still the number one bit of kit in the living room, and we're going to fill it with all the music so you can listen to the music you love, with the people you love."

Mr Lewis added that new YouGov research showed that only 8% of consumers subscribed to music streaming services, and the aim was to change that.

"From our research we know music services need to be easier and that many consumers still want a plug and play simple device, like a HiFi system. The beauty of Electric Jukebox is that it's family friendly and simple to use, rather than complex and often tricky to use streaming services.

The device holds "millions" of tracks as well as playlists and mixtapes from a range of partners including Alesha Dixon, Robbie Williams and Sheryl Crow. Mr Lewis however would not confirm the size of the catalogue, saying only that it was "comprehensive". These can all be accessed using the Jukebox's remote, which also has voice-recognition abilities.

Though being marketed as a challenger, the Electric Jukebox will cost significantly more - £179 - than other streaming devices, including the £30 Google Chromecast.

Mr Lewis added that connecting devices and streaming music had become too complicated, and had built a "technological and financial brick wall" in front of consumers who wanted to listen to their music.

Notable executives from across the music industry have also been named part of the company's board; including Rob Dickens, founder of the Brits, as well as former record label executives from EMI.

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