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8tracks Launches Revamped Streaming Player For iOS

8tracks_2.0Listener-curated Internet radio service 8tracks has released an all-new version of its mobile app for iOS. The free app sports a completely revamped user interface and introduces several new features, including radio-style playlists based on mood or occasion, full-screen album artwork, and the ability to find and invite friends. The San Francisco-based company hosts more than 600,000 online user-generated mixtapes that range from a multitude of genres and countries.

Those downloading the update may be surprised to see the app delivered as a brand new product all together, nearly unrecognizable from the previous version. Selection and streaming is exceptionally easy with the "Explore" section, as users get right down to listening in a very simple, step-by-step process of selecting a mood and genre.

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These song tags are pulled based on how the curators (“DJs”) assign their tracks, fused with data provided by Last.fm.

8tracks claims five million active users (one third coming from mobile), streaming 10 million hours on their network each month. With this new update, the company hopes to increase the amount of mobile streamers in hopes of perhaps mirroring that of Pandora’s user base, which sees 2/3 of users streaming via mobile devices. The company says their web-based version contiunes to see traciton, doubling in visits while trippling listening hours over the past year.

8tracks raised a seed round totalling $1.2 million in 2011 led by Index Ventures and included participation from Andreessen Horowitz, SoftTech, SPA, English DJ Pete Tong, and 7digital founder Ben Drury.

The app is free, with monetizization coming in the form of banner ads sold through Fuse, VICE and Pitchfork. During this initial launch, the iOS app will be completely ad-free for one month. From there, users can purchase a subscription to "8tracks Plus", removing ads from the web and mobile apps for $25 for six months.

Download the new 8tracks mobile app for iOS here.

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com. Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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