HP Considering Digital Music Service Of Its Own?

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HP (NYSE: HPQ) has been late to just about every party thrown by the mobile world over the last several years, but is it considering jumping into the music-service business as well? It sounds like the company is at least testing the waters for a possible service like Sony’s Qrocity, which might give Pre, TouchPad, and WebOS users access to their own set of streaming music and video content.

Billboard reports that HP has been putting feelers out to the entertainment industry regarding such a service, which if in the works seems very much in the preliminary stages. Music services appear to be the mobile-platform accessory of the year, with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) announcing a music locker and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) upgrading its iTunes software to stream songs to a variety of iOS devices. Billboard described HP’s proposed service as locker-like, but it sounds like nothing is really locked down, and it might just involve a deeper partnership with record labels like Interscope-Geffen-A&M and its leader Jimmy Iovine, who made an appearance at HP’s February WebOS event to talk up HP’s work on improving audio quality in its products.

HP’s secret weapon could be its plan to put WebOS on every PC that it ships next year, which would expand demand for its services and software beyond the anemic recognition that WebOS currently holds among consumers and developers. That may change once the TouchPad launches later this year, but a Twitter campaign to promote the latest HP smartphone, the Veer, sort of backfired over the weekend when a sizable proportion of Twitter users thought it was a promotion for a Harry Potter movie.

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Tony Wasserman

Back in the days of Her Worship, La Fiorina made her bid for rock-star glory by announcing the Windows-only HP iPod at the Consumer Electronics Show.  Major fizzle, as in HP FAIL.  I would hope that their new CEO, Leo Apotheker, would understand his business well enough to kill the music store idea.  Why would someone enter a market with the hope of rising to fourth place?

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