Experiencing music together is a beautiful thing. But in the years since Napster, online music has become very personalized as streaming music has taken hold, with algorithms recommending songs and artists on-the-fly. Why reach out to someone for help when your next, recommended song is already in the queue?
Still, when a friend takes the time to share a song, it gives us pause. That feeling is the driving force behind RadioMogul, a co-branded internet radio player from Mediazoic and CFC’s ideaBOOST business accelerator.
The fire for RadioMogul first sparked in Greg Nisbet’s brain a decade ago, when he needed to share a song with a friend in Central America, but was constrained by the messaging applications of the day.
“That’s who RadioMogul is for. That one person in the social circle that is just the music fanatic and the sharer.”
“Instead of on an [online] chat, if we were sitting together in my living room, having a drink, I would be playing her all the music I had been listening to in the past few years and she would be doing the same,” Nisbet said in conversation with the Dx3 Digest.
By enabling easy creation and sharing of customized online radio stations, RadioMogul allows one person or brand to share with just one other person, or many at one time.
“In every social circle… there’s that one guy or girl that’s always listening to new music and always recommending it, and turning their friends on to music and going to all the festivals,” Nisbet said. “That’s who RadioMogul is for. That one person in the social circle that is just the music fanatic and the sharer.”
In 2006, only five years removed from the legal battle that shuttered Napster and before the release of the first iPhone, Nisbet showed a working demo to music industry executives. Unable to tie the player back to music licensing, the executives shot down the idea.
“My mantra [is] that rights holders to the music are very much a part of the business model.”
“Basically, what we had to do was completely rebuild the system in a way that would be more friendly to licensing and doing everything legitimately,” Nisbet said. “I’m a music guy and it’s always been my mantra that rights holders to the music are very much a part of the business model.”
RadioMogul pays rights holders through advertising in between songs and through the player interface itself. Users don’t have to worry about where the songs come from, they just design the player to suit their preferences, pick their favourite music, and see what their friends think.
Working with ideaBOOST since November, Nisbet and his team at Mediazoic are creating the tools so that anyone can essentially become their own online radio broadcaster using RadioMogul. Along with song-specific commenting and embedding tools, RadioMogul is meant to become the centre of an ecosystem of music lovers.
“You can do a whole bunch of things that a real music fanatic, DJ-wannabe, wants to do. That’s where we really differentiate ourselves.”
For advertisers, RadioMogul offer access to engaged communities of listeners at a level that can be as granular as visitors to a particular website or as wide-reaching as fans of a band.
Mediazoic has recruited The Ongoing History Of New Music host Alan Cross to create his own Weekly Top 11, updated every Friday. Canadian burrito restaurant chain Quesada is another business client that uses Mediazoic as its music source across engagement points with its brand.
Now, they’re going after everyone who loves to share music – and their friends. So even if you can’t be in the same room, having a drink, when you catch up on new music with a friend, you will feel like you are.
And that’s a beautiful thing.