The battle of the social music player

I may be a bit late to the fold but I downloaded mflow this week, my initial reaction was that this was the game changer that we’ve all been waiting for.I’d heard some buzz about it on the grapevine – mainly via Twitter but I had to check it out for myself. The concept is vastly different from it’s competitors, you ‘flow’ music to your friends and music is ‘flowed’ to you by people that you follow. It already has big name endorsement by DJs including Zane Lowe and record companies are also eager to flow their latest pet project.

This, I thought, would be my way back into a music scene that I had missed. I have spent the last few years listening to the same old music but I’m determined to keep fresh and not resort to telling younger kids that ‘music was better in my day’. Mflow could be my way back in! The interesting bit is that you earn money if a track that you flowed is purchased, this little additional incentive to spend hours and hours online may prove priceless in the long run. Having said that, the music is a little bit more expensive here, so what’s to stop people searching for the track on iTunes and getting it for cheaper?

Obviously this is in direct competition with Spotify who have slowed their momentum after coming out of the blocks so quickly. They have recently added some neat social streaming features to their service and you can also access your own playlists via their nice new iPhone app. Spotify remains at the top of the list and seem to be a firm favourite amongst the masses.I recenty turned to we7 though, mainly because it was more accessible due to it’s browser based functionality instead of being downloadable software. This meant I could access it easily from my office without the IT department locking it down.

We7 is very good, offering standard (ad based) and premium versions. An app must be in the pipeline and they are extending their catalogue no-end. Their playlist and radio functions allow you to explore different types of music but you can tell from the outset that this is a very commercial affair. Simply browsing the top tens offer a range of urban titles and unless I search for an artist that I know already, I’m not really captivated by the options on offer. What would really change my opinion of we7 is if the home page was customised once you logged in. Maybe I am ou of touch but I don’t care for Tinnie Tempah or NDubz so why is that my main option from the home page after I’ve logged in?!

These are all direct competition to iTunes, when will they enter the fray. There is the browser based iTunes preview, but that hasn’t exactly been huge and you still only get that 30 seconds to decide whether you like the song! I prefer to listen to an album a few times and at the moment the best ways to do that is Spotify and we7. It all depends where you are and whether you can stand those annoying adverts.But, for all of them, the race to be released in America will surely dictate which of these services will rule and which will fail.

About Andrew Smallwood

Experienced digital strategist with a foundation in web development and analytics. Leads multi-disciplinary teams in content creation and digital marketing ensuring data is at the core of decision making.

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