San Francisco-based music streaming startup Bop.fm has raised a $2 million Series A round of funding from Charles River Ventures, SV Angel, Y Combinator, FundersClub and others. Bop.fm also launched verified artist pages Thursday, and is looking to get its own dedicated mobile apps next.
Bop.fm lets users organize and trade playlists, regardless of which music services their friends are using. A Spotify user can send a playlist to a Rdio subscriber, who can then forward it to someone who doesn’t pay for music services at all to listen to it through free copies on YouTube and SoundCloud. It’s a good idea in a world of increasing fragmentation, and something I called the Switzerland of music when I first wrote about Bop.fm in March.
Bop.fm cofounder Shehzad Daredia had a different analogy when I talked to him earlier this week; he said the company’s goal was to build the Kayak of music. Part of that effort is to make Bop.fm more valuable as a destination for music fans, which is why the company also launched verified artist pages Thursday, where artists and bands like Snoop Dogg, Depeche Mode and Keith Urban offer their fans access to hand-picked songs and complete playlists. Artists and labels who participate get detailed analytics in return, which not only reveal which songs got played on what service, but also which other services their fans are using.
The next step for Bop.fm will be dedicated mobile apps, said Daredia. These apps won’t just offer access to the services available through the Bop.fm website, but also include local music libraries, which means that users will be able to build a playlist based on the MP3s saved on their phone, and then share it with friends who might listen to it via Spotify, or any other service.