The popular Spotify app Soundrop is expanding to Facebook, and it’s doing so with a bang: Soundrop announced the launch of interactive music video listening rooms on Facebook artist pages Monday.
The Norwegian company teamed up with Abba, Public Enemy, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Hot Chip and a few other popular artists for its launch, allowing Facebook users to enter social listening rooms on the artists’ pages, vote for their favorite tracks and tune into a collaborative mix consisting of a nonstop stream of music videos. “No one has done this before, not even Facebook,” said Soundrop CEO Inge Andre Sandvik during an interview Friday.
Soundrop has been successfully operating these kinds of rooms within the Spotify app: Music fans listened to more than 500 million tracks through the company’s Spotify app last year, according to Soundrop.
The new rooms on Facebook are joined by the hip with the Spotify app: Abba’s Facebook listening room will play the same songs as the band’s room within the Spotify app, and users can vote on a room’s playlist on both platforms. “We don’t want to build a separate universe,” I was told by Sandvik.
However, there is one big difference between the two offerings: The Spotify app relies on the music service’s catalog. Soundrop’s new Facebook rooms on the other hand play music videos from YouTube and Vevo, which means that users can tune in without the need to pay for a subscription.
The offering is also completely free for musicians, and everyone else who is looking to bring some music to his Facebook presence: Any user with a public Facebook page can add a Soundrop room to that page within minutes.
That kind of easy set-up, paired with a pretty solid Soundrop experience that allows thousands of listeners to tune into a collaborative mix and chat about the music at the same time apparently impressed representatives from major music labels that got to see the app before its official launch. “They were amazed that we gave this to them,” Sandvik recalled.
He added that the app will help bands and labels to drive the engagement of ad-supported videos, and also help with marketing by allowing artists to interact with thousands of fans in real-time through DJ sets other online events.
Adding Facebook as an additional platform also shows how Soundrop is maturing: The company launched a first Spotify app when Spotify added third-party apps to its desktop client in late 2011. After gaining good traction on Spotify, it completely revamped its architecture from the ground up late last year to add cross-platform capabilities. Sandvik told me that the Facebook roll-out is just a first step on that journey. The end goal was not to launch the same app with the same UI on a bunch of different sites, but to offer unique experiences that are joined in real time by the music people are listening to and voting for. “It’s much more exciting to tell different stories,” Sandvik said.