Following the closing of a $700,000 seed round at the start of this year, music streaming social network Whyd has been busy putting some of that modest capital to work with the development of its first foray into mobile. Today sees the official launch of its iOS app, which brings many of the music curation and sharing features of Whyd’s older desktop web version.
Originally launched as an invite-only Beta in November 2012 before opening up this January, Whyd offered music bookmarking functionality along the lines of Wayra-accelerated and UK-based Songdrop, which we described as a “Delicious for music“. Users install the Whyd bookmarklet to their browser to begin adding tracks from various online sources for later playback, or search for tracks within Whyd itself.
The desktop version supports music from Youtube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Bandcamp, Dailymotion, Deezer, and MP3 embeds. Meanwhile, the new iOS app includes all of the above support except Deezer. However, I’m told Deezer integration is coming soon, as is support for Spotify and Apple-owned Beats. In other words, Whyd wants to be truly service-agnostic. It shouldn’t matter where a track exists, regarding Whyd’s mission to enable you to discover new music and connect to tastemakers who can help do just that.
In fact, the Paris-based startup’s broader plan has always been to become a music-based social network. In March 2013, the company flipped the switch on its recommendation engine to match users with similar tastes.
“The mobile launch is the next step,” says co-founder Gilles Poupardin. “We are bringing our niche community to the mainstream.” To that end, the iOS app lets you ‘follow’ other Whyd users so that music they share shows up in your stream. You can also ‘like’ and comment on tracks.
“The utility of the app is designed to help even casual music fans have a better connection to music,” notes Poupardin. “Adding tracks they hear directly from live events, or queuing up key party playlists from hype DJs when their Friday night party needs a boost.”
One key difference between the desktop web and mobile app, which I’ve had access to for a few weeks, is you can only search, not paste a URL or use a bookmarklet to add tracks. That was a deliberate decision, says Poupardin.
“Copy/paste a URL from mobile is tricky. We think that the most rapid and convenient way to add a track from the iPhone is via the search engine. The search aggregates almost all of the music you can find online and let you add a track to your playlist in seconds.”