Beyonce’s newest album is available exclusively on iTunes, but you use Spotify, are thinking of moving to Amazon, although it has none of Universal’s music, and your best friend prefers Beats. With so many different platforms, and all of them missing something, choosing one to listen to songs on is hard enough, let alone sharing your tunes with other people. Heck, there’s even a Tumblr dedicated to all the great music that Spotify is missing! That’s where Bop.fm comes in.
Eliminating the old-school ‘only send messages to those on the same carrier as you’ issue, users are now able to share song links and playlists that work for everyone, no matter which streaming service you're subscribed to. It automatically detects your best available source for listening to music, but if a certain track or artist isn’t supported by that service, then it will find it on a different streaming facility.
A playlist of songs from a mixture of sources - for example Sia’s “Chandelier” (from Soundcloud), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” (from Youtube) and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” (from Spotify) could all be added to the same, albeit interesting, playlist. And if that Macklemore Youtube video gets taken down, Bop will automatically notice it and replace it with a new source, doing “all the heavy lifting under the hood” for you, to “just expose the nice clean song”.
Today, Bop declared that it has been given $2 million of funding from Charles River Ventures and although its keeping schtum about how many actual individual users have signed up, it would reveal that there has been over 50 million song plays since Bop's opening to the public in December 2013. Verified artist pages have also been launched, meaning that their playlists, tour dates and song lyrics will also be displayed, with hand-picked verified artists already including Paul McCartney, Snoop Dog, Wiz Khalifa, Christina Perry, Tiesto and Depeche Mode.
And it turns out that only having one single platform for all our music needs isn’t just easy for us, it’s easier for everyone. Artists will only have to share links to one site as they publicise their work, as well as reaching a wider and more diverse audience. But the most appealing incentive to them may be all of Bop.fm’s analytics. “We can not only tell them how many clicks [on a bop.fm link] but ultimately how many song plays that generates,” and this includes whether someone listened to a song multiple times, added it to a playlist or put it on repeat, too. User data such as how many plays per country, browser, OS, device and what else they listened to can also be worked out, but most precious is probably the information on other services the site offers. Analytics which show the streaming company each song was played on and what other services the same user was also subscribed to could be incredibly beneficial for artists, with Bop.fm stating that “we’ve had campaigns where people have come back and said, wow I didn’t realize that 10 percent of my audience uses Deezer, I should consider doing marketing campaigns with Deezer.”
Named the ‘Switzerland’ of streaming services due to the site not technically hosting the tracks and just linking up all the providers, you can be sure that Bop is a safe bet. If one streaming service fails to have the song, Bop will simply find it on another. Currently supporting Rdio, Beats, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and Deezer for non-US users, it also provides purchase links next to songs from iTunes, Amazon and Google, and continues in its talks with other streaming services.
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