Bop.fm launched out of beta this week promising the end of song link and playlist frustration. By offering playlists that source songs from multiple services, including YouTube, SoundCloud, Rdio and Spotify, Bop.fm lets you use the sources to which you have access. This service makes it easier to enjoy songs and playlists across licensing and geographic boundaries. Bop.fm also has a player for web publishers that's currently in use on Rap Genius. So you may have already enjoyed their work.
To some extent Bop.fm is similar to a whole range of music sharing and streaming services that have launched over the last few years and then mostly disappeared. Musicplayr, which primarily uses YouTube and SoundCloud is still around and I know that because I still use it from time to time.
The big problem I saw with these approaches was that they required users to get into a habit of going to the site and they typically didn't have an approach that built that habit longterm other than pestering users with emails.
Pharmakon - Crawling on Bruised Knees
By launching with both embeddable players, like that shown above, and shareable playlists, Bop.fm has some powerful features for extending their presence on the web and encouraging listeners to visit and use the site.
The details from this September Bop.fm blog post may have changed but you can see how Bop.fm is pitching its services to artists. Not ony do listeners have access to legitimate sources of one's music, including streaming services which pay artists, but they can buy one's music as available on iTunes, Amazon or Google Play.
Listeners can create shareable playlists and alert their friends in other countries without wondering which songs they can hear. Given the interesting things people have been doing with Spotify playlists, in particular, this feature opens up a lot of possibilities for branded playlists that could range from those created by artists to those sponsored by advertisers.
While the overall service could use a more mobile-friendly approach and more browsing options, the current features all seem solid. There's nothing here that seems extraneous and you can figure out your options pretty easily from a manageable number of icons which clue you in when you hover over them.
It looks like a good start for Bop.fm.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.