You’ve just listened to this amazing new song by Sara Bareilles and you want to send it to your friend. Only problem is, you were listening to it on Beats Music, and your friend only has Spotify. So you end up having to go to YouTube, searching for the song, and then sending the link to your friend. Except your friend lives in Turkey and can’t access the link.
Instead of having to figure out how to share music with your friends, you can now use a universal music streaming site called bop.fm. Realising the current world of online music streaming is super fragmented, bop.fm functions as a central hub that merges different streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and Beats, and makes it simple and easy to share and listen to music.
“If I want to share a picture with you, I don’t have to make sure we use the same photo viewer, why shouldn’t it be the same with music,” bop.fm cofounder Shehzad Daredia told Business Insider. “There’s a giant mess brought about by the fragmentation in the industry and we thought there needs to be a universal layer that combines this into one interface. We wanted to build that one default destination.”
So he and his cofounder Stefan Gomez went on to create the “Switzerland of online music.” And this morning, bop.fm announced it has raised $US2 million from a funding round led by Charles River Ventures to develop the platform further.
The way bop.fm works is that it goes through a hierarchy to give you the song you’re looking for.
Let’s say you want to play a certain song. First bop.fm will detect whether that song is available on Spotify, Rdio, Beats, or Deezer, and if you have access to those streaming services, bop.fm will play the song. If you don’t have access to the song on any of those platforms, bop.fm will provide you with the YouTube or SoundCloud clip.
In the beginning, bop.fm just used the streaming services’ open APIs to play music, but now it is partnering directly with those companies to get private API access or higher rate limits. You may think Spotify and the like wouldn’t be too happy about bop.fm stealing their traffic, but in reality, they’re still getting good marketing, and bop.fm users still need to subscribe to Spotify to access their streaming service.
“The idea is that we set out to be a win-win-win for every stakeholder,” Shehzad said. “The users win because they get a comprehensive and anonymous tier of music, the music services get a performance-based marketing channel, artists and labels win because we promote the healthy, paid, legal adoption of music that promotes monetization rather than piracy.”
Bop.fm is even platform agnostic for actually purchasing songs. You can buy a song from iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play directly from bop.fm.
Starting today, the company is also launching a new feature called Verified Artist Pages, which will feature curated playlists by musicians like Tiesto, Snoop Dogg, and Paul McCartney.
Shehzad is hoping this will be an added draw for new users — or new song plays, which is how bop.fm prefers to measure its success.
Since launching to the general public in December, bop.fm has played more than 50 million songs.
“The number that matters to us is song plays,” Shehzad said. “That can be driven not just by attracting more people to the platform but also getting them to use it more.”