This Noida-based music curation and streaming app is betting on better personalisation such as recommendations from friends and others in the vicinity to keep users hooked.
The widespread adoption of technology has ensured that the barriers to entry for both tech and non-tech businesses are lower compared to a few decades ago. But another pain point has risen. More companies now have similar products and have to compete for consumer mindshare. A recent report by Deloitte noted that mass personalisation is finally becoming a reality. It said,
Businesses have not only developed the capabilities to measure specifically what each consumer wants, they are in a position to link their processes and resources to provide it.
The report also observed that businesses that don’t incorporate an element of personalisation into their offering risk losing revenue and customer loyalty. Pindrop Music, a Noida-based startup, as well as music streaming players like Gaana, Jio Music, and Saavn have been looking at mass personalisation to retain users and go after the next stage of growth.
Let us explore Pindrop Music, with a focus on the competition, in this week’s App Fridays story.
Story so far
Vishu Gupta (CEO), Prankush Roopanwal (CTO), and Sumit Chakraborty (Creative Director) co-founded Pindrop Music in late 2014. Pindrop is a music streaming app that relies on touch points like user location and mood to provide appropriate music suggestions recommended by friends and users near their location.
Pindrop claims to be the most advanced mood-based music curation and streaming app that tracks various factors like interests, local trends, and listening habits to encourage music discovery.
The team spent most of 2015 and 2016 tweaking the product based on feedback from users. About six months ago, after being convinced they had got the app right, they decided to focus on marketing the product. Talking to YourStory, Vishu said that they employed various growth hacks like native video advertising (the most successful of which clocked 42 million views), which helped them reach about two million downloads in six months.
Vishu states that while Pindrop Music currently leverages Soundcloud’s APIs to stream music, they also let emerging musicians upload their content directly to their platform. The goal is to connect upcoming artists with their audience base. Pindrop Music is currently free to download and use. The platform currently monetises through ad network integrations.
Vishu says that they have integrated with Admob and clock about half a million impressions per day. Going forward, the startup aims to add premium features like micro-transactions to support upcoming artists and other premium features to serve as an alternate revenue source.
Pindrop Music has raised three undisclosed rounds of funding so far. According to Vishu, GHV accelerator has been their lead investor in the last two rounds, while some big names from Bollywood and other industries had also participated in earlier rounds. He says that apart from one investor, Pavan Kumar from Qatar, other investors aren’t ready to disclose their identities at this stage.
Pindrop Music experience
On signing up, users have to pick artists and music genres based on their interests. This lets the app get a taste of the user’s music preferences and customise streaming experience accordingly. The app then provides users with a list of ‘Moods’ depending on the time of day and other factors. On picking a category, users are ushered into watching a short full-screen ad and then taken to their playlists.
Based on my experience of playing around with Pindrop Music for a few days, I found that most songs fit the different tabs they are categorised under but there a few misses with irrelevant songs too. But given the permutations and combinations involved in trying to create playlists from pre-selected artists and genres, it will likely take some time to be perfect.
Pindrop Music also has a tab called Public Playlist which includes popular playlists created by users. Users can also subscribe to different artists and users to keep track of their playlists. All this can also be tracked in the last tab named Profiles which gives users a bird’s-eye view of their activity.
Gaana, Saavn, and JioMusic are among the popular music streaming services available in India. Gaana recently launched Gaana Social, which lets users connect with existing friends, build music interest-based social relationships, and discover music in their daily feed. The end goal is to build a socio-musical community.
Saavn too has a feature called Friends, which lets users find and discover music from their friends. Pindrop Music, on the other hand, doesn’t have the vast network of the above players but aims to rely on better personalisation features to keep users hooked. On the global front, there are players like Moodfuse, Meemix, and others that are looking to cash in on the inevitable need for personalisation in the music streaming space.