Akazoo, Viber Team: What’s In Store For Music’s Social Future?
While both music streaming and social media have seen incredible growth in recent years, the two have rarely been combined, with algorithms often aiding in music discovery instead of actual people. This is something two companies, Akazoo and Viber, are hoping to change
Guest post from Apostolos N. Zervos, CEO at Akazoo
At the dawn of 2019, the music streaming industry still looked decidedly unsocial, despite the reign of social media. Even though music is a universal, human experience that strengthens social bonds, transcends cultural boundaries and expresses our identity, it is surprising that music streaming has, until recently, involved very little social interaction.
Not so long ago, we shared music on mixtapes that took hours, or even days, to complete. Jump forward a few years and we were still filtering through Napster to copy songs onto CDs for our friends. Fast-forward to 2019, where instead of gleaning song finds from friends and peers, much of our music is chosen by distant, editorial teams and platform algorithms.
At the close of the decade, however, pioneering music-sharing and messaging apps are working to bring back the human aspect of music sharing and discovery .For example, Akazoo — a leading global on-demand music streaming platform – is at the forefront of the movement thanks to its partnership with international instant messaging chat and voiceover IP platform, Rakuten Viber. The two companies have teamed up to bring this social element back to the music experience.
Through this collaboration, Akazoo will enable Viber’s worldwide network of more than one billion users to access, listen, and share music, playlists, stations, and lyrics from Akazoo’s extensive library of more than 40 million songs. In addition, Viber users will be able to join live listening rooms and listen to curated stations with their friends. Users can access these features directly from the Viber messaging app as part of its core chat functionality.
By inspiring a return to a social music listening experience, pioneers like Akazoo and Viber set the stage for other social media platforms to join the movement by incorporating music sharing into their messaging functionality. As Akazoo founder Apostolos N. Zervos explained in a press release, “With audiences spending more time on messaging apps and consuming music on their devices, enriching messaging and social media with music is a natural fit. Granting audiences the ability to enjoy the same music, at the same time, advances and enriches both their musical and social experiences.”
4 Other Companies Moving Towards Social Music Sharing
Prior to Akazoo’s and Viber’s strategic partnership, other companies have dipped their toe into music sharing. Here’s how four other major players have contributed to the burgeoning trend of social music:
Spotify. The behemoth steaming service, lets you create and share playlists on Facebook and Instagram. Spotify also offers the capability to collaborate and build playlists with your friends.
SoundCloud. With their unique model, Soundcloud is an open platform that allows artists big and small to share their music with new audiences. Much like YouTube, SoundCloud lets users comment directly on songs.
Shazam. Shazam is a handy app that identifies songs you don’t recognize, then logs them in your account. While Shazam itself doesn’t allow you to listen to entire songs, it does connect with other music apps like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play. In terms of social capabilities, Shazam can display your friends’ activity on Facebook and share tagged music on Facebook as well as other social media networks.
Apple Music. Last year, Apple Music launched a feature called “The Friends Mix.” Rather than suggesting songs based on what you’ve recently listened to, the Friends Mix recommends songs based on what your friends are listening to. The list is updated each week.