We’ve written about Israeli startup Music Messenger before: it’s one of a growing number of messaging apps focused on people pinging music back and forth.
In April, it raised a $30m funding round at a claimed valuation of $100m, with investors including Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Abba’s Benny Andersson, David Guetta, Will.i.am, Aviici, and Nicki Minaj’s manager Gee Roberson. One of the more interesting music startups to emerge in recent times, and certainly one of the most well-funded.
Now it got more interesting. Music Messenger was created by an apps development company called Shellanoo, which has just launched another music app: Mr. Released for iPhone and for Android smartphones, it’s pitched as “the world’s easiest to use music radio app”.
We’re talking Songza or MixRadio here: contextual streaming radio stations. “Select radio music by your mood or activity”, from Chillout, In Love and Energetic to Just Woke Up, Heartbroken and Confused.
What’s less clear is the business model, although it’s certainly free for listeners. “No in-app purchases, no annoying banner ads, 100% FREE for life,” promises its app store listing.
Digging into the terms section of Mr.’s website, it’s made clear that the app “provides links to other sites and third party providers of music, internet music stations and other content… We do not host the Content on our servers and are not responsible for the Content accessed through the Service”. From the app itself, it appears the stations come from Shoutcast.
This isn’t the first example of a music-streaming app and messaging sitting within the same umbrella group. Line is the obvious example: it started as a messaging app, and then launched its own streaming service in Japan while acquiring MixRadio for the rest of the world. Korean messaging app KakaoTalk also has a music offshoot.
We await with interest more information on how Mr. may tie in with Music Messenger; how it plans to make money; and what the potential is for partnerships with (and, indeed, payments to) rightsholders.