By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
The world is in the process of reforming itself to satisfy the whims of those of us who aren’t afraid to install a smartphone app to request songs in bars and restaurants (or to share our listening activity online so that bars can play music we like just by asking us to check in on Facebook or Foursquare).
Playmysong, an app with which bars and restaurants can allow anyone with an Android, iOS device, or Windows Phone put songs on the jukebox, launched its U.S. first venue in 2011, and, with Spotify, gave the world free jukeboxes in April. On Tuesday at the SF Music Tech conference, the company rolled out a new program in partnership with NSM Music, a veteran installer of interactive jukeboxes, that gives Playmysong access to NSM’s catalog of fully-licensed music.
As a result, if you own at or work in a bar, restaurant, or other public venue, you can now install Playmysong with NSM and get up and running without paying or dealing with separate licensing fees to BMI, ASCAP, and or SESAC, because NSM handles all the licensing. Meanwhile, you get the same Playmysong interfaces that other venues have been able to use since 2011, which includes host software installed by the venue on an iPad, as well as the iPhone and Android apps used by the customers.
Even better, venues can make money from this arrangement, instead of losing it, because they get a percentage of the revenue generated by people requesting songs.
“Since last year we’ve gotten loads of requests from US venues to provide a solution that includes a fully
licensed music library,” said Playmysongs co-founder and CEO. “Bars can immediately launch the Playmysong NSM Jukebox service with a network connected iPad, and start earning revenue share from the paid song requests that bar patrons make,” continued the announcement.
As for bar and restaurant patrons, they can get free requests by checking in or sharing status updates on social networks, before having to pay to make requests.
“The new Playmysong NSM app integrates with popular social networks, allowing venues to offer patrons a limited number of free songs in return for checking in on Foursquare, liking on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter,” reads the announcement. “After that, customers pay for each song request. ‘Our mission is to give people the power to influence the music around them everywhere they go,’ continued Korhonen, ‘and this joint service with NSM Music allows us to do it in a way that benefits bars, bar patrons and rights holders.”
It’s an innovative service that appears to be a win all around — patrons get to chose songs (for free initially), venues get to differentiate themselves by offering request-able music, music copyright holders get paid, and the restaurant or bar can even get paid too. Perhaps the next step will be to automate the music so that when nobody makes a request, it reflects the taste of everyone who has checked in, because that would be neat too (and would keep the music going), but this is a positive development for all stakeholders even without that feature, which some believe will eventually become commonplace.