Music apps development is becoming a fast growing trend. The market is getting large and competitive. It goes without saying that music consumption from mobile devices has gained momentum. We have covered before the prevailing tendencies on the current music apps market. The industry is getting to the point, where rapid spread of the music streaming apps is persuading the world that this is a single best solution. But is it so indeed?
As long as music streaming and subscription model is influencing the choice of some app developers, there are others whose vision on music industry as a whole and a music application in particular, differs from what the market leaders dictate.
I am talking about iBroadcast, a U.S.-based music application, both web and mobile, focused on users who prefer to own music, rather than rent it. iBroadcast is not a music streaming service but a music storage app. It plays the music that you own.
iBroadcast app provides music playback from any device connected to the Internet. It works with Dropbox and Google Drive which means that the music found there, as well as the audio added in future, will be automatically imported to your music library. Also, iBroadcast features library managing tools, playlists and queues.
Our mobile app development team has been helping the company with both iOS and Android apps development and we are happy to have iBroadcast among our customers. The team working on the project includes our iOS developer Yury Grinenko, Android developer Ilya Bershadskiy, QA specialist Irina Selezyova, project manager Aleksandr Gavrosh and designer Bogdan Pryshedko.
I had an interview with Rod Collen, the co-founder of iBroadcast.
Me: Why is the app called iBroadcast? What was the vision for iBroadcast when you started?
Rod: iBroadcast allows you to «broadcast» your media to yourself online and on all of your devices so you can freely access your media wherever you are. We started iBroadcast two and a half years ago — before many of the «cloud» storage services launched — with the vision of making your music accessible from anywhere on any device. Even though we are evolving, the core vision remains the same.
Me: Since our iOS and Android developers are currently working on iBroadcast apps, it would be interesting to know what the rest of your development team looks like?
Rod: We currently have several internal developers and everything else we contract out for. We are, however, in a growth period and will start to bring more developers on board as our vision becomes more focused and we have clearly defined in-house roles.
Me: Who is the target audience of your app?
Rod: People who are interested in owning their music, not «renting» it. Our target user is still compelled by the notion of supporting the artists they enjoy by purchasing their music but they still want to experience that music in a convenient way that’s always available to them.
Me: In what way is iBroadcast different from other music apps?
Rod: iBroadcast is for people who want to purchase and own their music — which is still a multi-billion dollar industry, by the way — but also want an easy way to organize and listen to their music online and across any device they own.
Our model more directly supports the artist and makes sense to use if music and the artists that create it are something that are important to you.
We also don’t plan on getting involved in the sale of music. We want to see the consumer purchase music directly from the artist and to then store it on iBroadcast where it’s kept safe and always available to them. This makes device upgrades and other hardware changes easy for the consumer. That is our current vision.
Me: What is the biggest difficulty you have to deal with during the product development process?
Rod: There is nothing, in particular. I have been in software development with start-ups for over 20 years, there is nothing really new here. Creating a product that meets a specific need is more challenging than you would think but I enjoy that challenge and it can be very rewarding.
Me: How are you planning to monetize iBroadcast?
Rod: Monetizing the platform is easy once you have an active and engaged audience. We have several very creative ideas in the works. I can tell you we are going to do everything we can to avoid incorporating advertising and I believe we will be able to do that.
Me: Have you launched a marketing campaign yet? How is it going?
Rod: We started marketing about a month and a half ago. We are doing small campaigns to get user feedback, identify our market segment and refine our product more by getting to better know our users. We will slowly ramp up marketing over the next year.
Me: Do you have any ideas you’d like to implement in the future?
Rod: It is possible that we will eventually add video to round out the ‘media’ portion of your personal «broadcast», but that will be down the road. We always knew we were going to evolve with the industry and with what our user’s needs were and we will continue to do that.
Me: What is your take on renting music vs. owning music?
Rod: The industry is in flux and I am not convinced that streaming services are here to stay, at least given the model they use now. Sure they are good for the music companies, such as record labels and distributors, and the end user but the artists generally don’t like them much. It is easy to see why, since the artists benefit the least from them.
Even if the music streaming services are here to stay, there will still be a market — even if it is a niche one — for those of us who want to purchase music and have it be part of their permanent music collection.
Me: What are your personal music preferences?
Rod: CAKE has been my favorite band for a very long time. I own all of their songs and the first test song I did with iBroadcast was with one of theirs. Interestingly John McCrea, the lead singer of CAKE is pretty outspoken about the state of the music industry and his distaste for streaming services. I am not sure how he would feel about iBroadcast, but I hope he would approve.
Me: Rod, thank you for this conversation. Our team wishes success to iBroadcast and we hope to keep being a part of your development team.