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Chromecast-for-tunes service Electric Jukebox summons Stephen Fry and Robbie Williams to take on Spotify

Electric Jukebox is the latest music streaming service to take on Spotify, eschewing monthly payments and bringing a Chromecast-style dongle to the party. 

Costing £179, the Electric Jukebox product includes a remote that supports voice commands, making it easier to search the catalogue of songs. 

Like Chromecast, it’s very much a plug-and-play device; you apparently don’t need a phone or laptop to get this set up. You just need a TV with a HDMI port and an active WiFi connection to get up and running. You’ll also need to be getting download speeds of at least 2Mbps, meaning almost everyone can get one of these. 

Related: New Chromecast (2015) review and How to get Spotify on your TV via ChromecastElectric Jukebox is cagey about the exact number of tunes it’s got in its library – the press release mentions ‘millions’ – but there’s scarce information about deals with rights holders. 

Like Tidal before it, Electric Jukebox has also roped in some big industry names including Rob Dickins CBE, former CEO of Warner Music and Amanda Conroy, previously senior VP of corporate communications at EMI and Universal Music Group. It’s unclear if these music biz bigwigs will have paved the way for content deals with their former paymasters, but Robbie Williams (Island/Universal) and Sheryl Crow (Warner Bros) are attached, so we’ll at least be able to stream Life Thru a Lens and Tuesday Night Music Club. 

As well as this, former QI host and some-time DAB enthusiast Stephen Fry has also been tapped up to promote the Electric Jukebox. Let’s hope that the Electric Jukebox has better longevity that both of those aforementioned services. 

Perhaps the biggest threat to Spotify’s dominance comes in the form of Electric Jukebox’s subscription model. 

Rob Lewis, CEO of The Electric Jukebox Company says that the main reason that streaming hasn’t fully replaced CD sales is because of complex payment methods and difficulty getting set up.  

Instead of charging customers £9.99/month, Electric Jukebox charged customers £60 annually, which is equivalent to a fiver a month. What’s more, the £179 full kit comes with a year of streaming included. 

Lewis said: “Whilst some may be comfortable with Spotify and Apple Music and spending hours configuring these services on specialist streaming devices, the vast majority of consumers really want something that works instantly, out of the box, without a monthly subscription or credit card. That’s what we’ve created. Mass market streaming has finally become a reality.”

The Electric Jukebox goes on sale later this year (‘in time for Christmas’) and is available to pre-order now. Punters who pony up before October 21 can get a £30 discount off of the Electric Jukebox. 

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