Music startup Crowdmix got the industry’s attention in 2015 by raising £14m and hiring former Universal Music exec Rob Wells.
Here’s the bad news: you probably can’t use it yet. The app is invite-only, so unless you’ve been given early access by the company, you’ll be stuck at its intro screen.
Still, the app’s launch means Crowdmix can expect a flood of incoming invitation requests from the music industry, keen to see whether it can make a success of a category – social music discovery – that has seen plenty of failed startups in recent years.
“Crowdmix is a place where like-minded individuals can find new people, crowd communities, amazing content and much much more through music,” explains the app store blurb.
The featured screenshot shows that users can connect their Spotify, YouTube and iTunes accounts on iOS, although the Android version is (unsurprisingly) lacking the iTunes option.
Co-founder and chief product officer Gareth Ingham (pictured at the top of this story) promised that the Crowdmix app would launch in May, in an appearance earlier this year at AIM’s Indie-Con conference.
“We think we’ve created a great new tool that will generate music streaming: will push people into the streaming platforms and drive them to stream more and share more music,” said Ingham at the time.
“You download Crowdmix, then link all the different ways you listen to music. Through that you can join or create crowds of your own,” he said. “A crowd helps you to organically discover music through groups that you trust.”
Crowdmix has been courting labels and artists, aware that it needs to convince them to put time and effort into creating content for another new social networking platform.
“Ultimately one of the big things we’re trying to do is to create a new revenue stream from social. 50% of all the money that is made on the platform goes back to the artist community,” said Ingham at Indie-Con.
“We’ve taken time and effort to create tools that support your existing revenue streams. We don’t think we’re trying to interrupt anything. We’re trying to build a platform that supports the new ways that people are consuming music, and generates engagement around that.”
In 2015, Crowdmix acquired two startups to help build its platform: Buddybounce and Music Technology Ltd. The company has also been recruiting aggressively, growing to a headcount of 160 by January, although it laid off up to 8% of its staff in April as part of a pre-launch reorganisation.
“We have invested in senior, more experienced talent which allows us to be more streamlined and effective in getting us to where we need to be, including Ted Mico as CMO who joined us this month from Mirriad. We have another three experienced exec leaders joining which we will be announcing in due course,” said Crowdmix in a statement at the time.
Mico is another music-industry veteran, having worked at Capitol Records and Interscope Geffen A&M before joining digital advertising firm Mirriad.
Sceptical about whether a social-music middleman role can pay off for Crowdmix? In a statement after joining the company, Rob Wells admitted that he felt the same.
“Initially sceptical, I quickly became incredibly excited by the scale of Crowdmix’s ambition, its ridiculously talented tech team, music industry support, strong funding and vision to give fans the social experience they crave,” said Wells.
We’re looking forward to seeing how the app – or at least the initial version of it launched today – tackles those fan cravings.