Apps & Mobile

Is The Shared Music Experience A Niche?

Mzl.kqplhucz.320x480-75 Many apps I've come across lately focus on the shared music experience. SoundTracking lets users share music moments. Songza lets users share a radio station. Mixapp lets users create a listening room. And Roqbot lets users gain control of a public playlist. All of these are great ideas. But I'm left asking myself, is the shared music experience a niche?

There is a place for these apps. People will use them.

The question is how many people will use them.

There is reason to believe that people want to share songs they're listening to on Twitter and Facebook.

They already share music videos from YouTube.

There is reason to believe that people would like to share a station their friends.

After all, they've spent months curating it, and it probably plays great songs.

Maybe, there is reason to believe that people would like to create a listening room wherein their friends can gather around and chat about music.

And lastly, it's possible that people will enjoy sharing control over the playlists at parties and cafes. But are these apps overestimating how many people want to?

I'm reminded something Kevin Leflar, CEO of officialCOMMUNITY, told me

"With respect to music in particular it is important to remember that the majority of fans are passionate only about the music. Listening to their favorite music may be an entirely personal experience for some. They don't care what other people think about the music they listen to any more than they wish to share their own experience with it."

Most people don't care, as Leflar suggests, to share their music experience with anyone. If it's very easy and socially beneficial for casual fans to do so, maybe.

But to think that the average person needs separate apps to share their music moments with; broadcast shared radio stations; and create a listening room is wishful thinking. Don't get me wrong. There are aspects of the shared music experience that have yet to be executed properly, and once an app gets them right, it could be successful. But alone, these apps, save for Roqbot, seem destined to drudge in obscurity. SoundTracking, Songza, and Mixapp are standalone apps; their features would be better if they existed in one place.

Spotify lets people to share music moments, and may one day let them create listening rooms. Pandora may let users share radio stations with their friends. 

And well, maybe Roqbot is much safer in their niche.

However, that may be the point: the shared music experience is a niche. If an established sites copy these ideas, they will catch on, but not the original apps.

Most people don't care to share their music with anyone.

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2 Comments

  1. It might be a niche, but that doesn’t mean small. With the billions of folks online, niches can be quite sizable.
    For me I think it’s like when you use to share mix tapes (yeah I’m a little older). It’s the same thing, just easier now. As Community Manager at ex.fm we see a ton of folks who are thrilled to be able to let folks know what they are listening to as well as discovering what others are enjoying. Personally, I’ve found an incredible amount of new music this way. You give you get.

  2. Music discovery is and has always been a social experience. Don’t have to be old to believe that (have you been to a concert lately?). The only problem in this decade is that existing digital music services want the consumers to accept that computerized interactions are “social.”
    The average music fan on the street is neither in front of a computer all day long nor a user of the existing services. Otherwise, many music services would have better name recognition/generate solid revenues as first movers.
    The person on the street is most likely on a mobile phone; socializing with friends and family at a restaurant/home; and wants an easy and fun way to discover music on the go, not tied to a computer.
    A service that makes discovery/sharing easy, mobile, local and friend-based does have a real shot at generating momentum.

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