Earbits is a free music service and is a vessel for independent musicians and labels to promote their work to fans, it is launching it’s first mobile product today and breaking the mold by releasing an Android app first instead of an iOS app. It has been more than two years since the startup first launched which seems to be a very long time especially in the music industry.
CEO Joey Flores said “Earbits isn’t just a regular music app — again, one of the main selling goals is to help musicians promote themselves, and for fans to promote those musicians. So the default mode for other music apps, where you just turn on the app and then let the music play without interacting, isn’t really what Earbits is going for.” and also “We really need you to engage with the artist for this to be a success for us.”
What makes Earbits different
The new mobile app was created through a partner ship that formed with SproutBox – a firm that invests man-hours and support in a startup, this is very different from the norm of firms just throwing money at the startup in exchange for equity in the firm.
Flores said “The app supports most of the website’s functionality and adds some cool new features. For one thing, it can analyze the music on your phone, recommend Earbits channels that you might enjoy, and then mix your music in with the channel. There’s also a Boom Button allowing users to easily join the mailing list of a musician whose work they discover in the app, and to recommend that musician to a Facebook friend.”
The company wants to build an iOS app as well and they are open to working with SproutBox to create the iOS version of the app, but the statement made sounds like there aren’t any firm decisions being made on the iOS app front at the moment.
Groovies, a new currency
Earbits is released detailes of using ‘Groovies’ on the service soon; Groovies is the social currency that launched in Februrary. Users gain Groovies in exchange for quote “artist-friendly” action, the social currency can be used to for on-demand music play. Since the service launched Groovies at the end of February; Earbits says user activity has increased by a significant margin.
Earbits also says that since the Groovies launched musicians and labels that have paid to get their songs played more frequently are seeing an increase in Facebook fans and more signups to their mailing lists. “The site’s definitely been growing, but we’ve mostly been focused on laying a foundation before we start firing away on user acquisition,” said Flores.
The growth of Earbits
When questioned about the services usage number Flores said “most of the company’s effort in the past couple of years has gone more into building out the site and acquiring content, so that there’s a reason for the users who do find Earbits to continue using it.” Earbits catalog now include more than 100,000 songs from 9,300 artists and 550 record labels.
Could Earbits be the next big competitor to take on the giants of streaming music such as Spotify and Rdio, only time will tell what this independent music streaming service will evolve into.
Source – TechCrunch