Monday, April 6, 2015

Rithm wants to be WhatsApp for music messaging

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If you’re looking for new music, how often do you ask fellow audiophiles for a recommendation? And how much do you trust their musical taste? For Rithm, the mobile music app which lets users send each other musical messages, pictures, text and emojis, the answer is hopefully ‘not often enough’ and ‘better than Pandora.’

The service, which has been around since 2013 (and is an offshoot of MavenSay, their lifestyle recommendation app), relaunches this week as a more robust, entirely legitimate music streaming service.

Rithm’s bread-and-butter is in its ability to easily share music clips to friends. “This is a different type of [music streaming] service,” CEO Mike Wagman tells Forbes. “Spotify has fully on-demand [songs] — anything, anytime. For us, it’s expanding the streaming market to consumers who want a messaging service.”

That said, they’ve secured major label licensing with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Merlin and indie distribution stalwart, The Orchard. Its database currently has seven million catalog tracks which can be shared from one user to another.

It’s a freemium service, letting free users send 30 second music clips to friends. The paid version ($3.99 per month) allows users to listen to full songs, but only songs in their chat history and a self-curated playlist of 40 extra songs. Users can make up to 60 swaps within their playlist which essentially means access to 100 self-selected songs per month.

Also intriguing is its ability to send music-related stickers and animated emojis for 99 cents, including the adorable one below featuring DJ Steve Aoki.

The market for streaming music services is a over saturated — if not bloated — one but Rithm’s differentiation is in its merger of social music sharing and messaging. It’s lower price point and focus on messaging make it a desirable product for a younger audience. We don’t know of any direct competitors, so be on the lookout: you may be hearing more from Rithm.

Credit: Digital Trends


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