2013-07-09

Co.Labs

The Music Service You Didn’t Know You Needed

In the age of Spotify and Rdio, sharing music has become a nightmare: You never know which of these de facto social networks contain which of your friends. A new startup called Bop.fm is building something akin to TweetDeck for music.



My standard practice for sharing music is tweeting links to different songs out to my followers, since Spotify or Rdio links aren’t open to non-users. Then it dawned on me that the most accessible way to share music was YouTube, so I wrote on my blog about a best practice for sharing music: Use YouTube. I got a surprising reaction.

The founders of Bop.fm let me know they had created something based on my post, focused on content resolution. Simply put, Bop.fm allows you to share a link to a song, without worrying whether the other person uses the same music service you do. On their side, Bop.fm pulls in content from Rdio and Spotify as well as YouTube and SoundCloud, with more rights-compliant services being added. The most impressive and satisfying part is how they seamlessly fall back to another source, constantly trying to make sure you never get the "unavailable" sign everyone dreads.

The consumer-facing implications of the service are obvious. A default destination even more reliable than YouTube to share a link to a song with anyone. The business partnerships available with the service's embed code are where things get interesting. For music bloggers or any site that will ever write about music, Bop.fm embed code will be able to auto-detect songs mentioned in a news post or music review and queue them up from sources relevant to the reader, falling back to different sources if need be. Already in talks with a large content site to provide music players for each lyric page, the potential is promising for both publishers and readers.

The site houses discovery features that links Facebook/Twitter friends and their listening habits (without requiring anyone to sign up), but that's not the real draw. The attractive results and the little touches like pulling in Twitter images offers a new face for "content resolution." This is the music service you were looking for, even if you weren't looking.

[Image: Flickr user Chloester]