Nightmare! Muzu TV launches music video jukebox just as YouTube gets in on the action

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[Ireland] It’s the type of scenario that keeps even the most seasoned entrepreneurs up at night. Your startup toils away for months on a new product or feature and – boom – a giant like Google comes along and walks all over it.

That appears to be the case for Dublin-based music video site, Muzu TV (see previous TCEU coverage), which today launched its new music video jukebox feature. A sort of Spotify-for-video, it’s not too dissimilar from Google-owned YouTube’s recent disco beta or ‘Music Discovery Project and Playlist Creation Tool’ to give it its full name.

The Muzu video jukebox offers up a search box in which users can type in an artist or track name, and instantly create music video playlists based on the results. Playlists can be edited and re-ordered in real-time, without interrupting the music, and there’s related artist recommendations built-in too, providing an element of discovery.

A side by side comparison with YouTube’s disco, shows an almost identical feature-set. Although, in typical Google fashion, YouTube’s version is much more minimalistic in design and I actually prefer the look ‘n’ feel and overall UX of Muzu TV’s jukebox.

But at the end of the day, marketing aside, it will probably come down to the content or the size of each site’s music video catalogue.

Muzu.TV predominantly targets the UK and Ireland and has around 100,000 videos on the site, although not all of these are ‘music videos’ but include concert archive footage and interviews etc. The startup also has local deals with all four majors and a whole bunch of Indies, such as Beggars, Domino, PIAS, Cooking Vinyl and Merlin.

Muzu thinks it’s onto something by avoiding the intrusion of pre-roll advertising. While the site is ad-supported, it’s leveraging alternative ad formats such as ‘skinning’ the outside of the video player with branded content, so as to not interrupt the viewing experience.

  • Rogerio Mota

    Tell me about it! We launched, a music video jukebox, back in October 2009. I’m pretty confident we offer a better solution to building playlists online. Having Google on the scene is a bit worrying but as it’s part of their ‘labs’ programme, who knows where they’ll take it or if it’ll remain a little-known feature set of YouTube.

    We’ll be pitching at the Music 4.5 event this March 4th. Come say hi :)

  • Rodrigo SEPÚLVEDA

    thoughts on, a similar service ?

  • Robin Saltzman

    Functionality on the MUZU Jukebox is better than Youtube and Tuberadio. Product Design and video quality is slick too. Some of those youtube videos are really bad quality that TubeRadio and Blip use in their jukeboxes.

  • Jason Harper

    Muziic launched a similar service using YouTube’s API and ran into trouble with Vevo and the major labels thereupon.

  • http://karlosdlabola KARLOSDLABOLA


  • Chad Rinko

    Wow, this is like amazing cool. I little competition is always good right??


  • Terry Frame

    I just spent the last 30 mins using both MUZU jukebox and YouTube disco. MUZU definitely a lot slicker as noted above. Similar artist recommendations on MUZU seem to be really on the money.
    Big difference is there doesn’t seem to be any bulls**t videos that are just audio uploads with random pictures attached to them – which is a lot of what I got on YouTube.

    Summary – really great way of watching video. Both are cool, but MUZU gets my vote…

  • Jason Williams

    I don’t understand the issue. YouTube launched their service a month ago. There are duplicate sites for everything on the web you can think or. Slow news day?

    • Terry Frame

      Jason – Because it’s a really interesting space. MUZU has taken legit route to market from word go – -licensed from majors and indies. They seem to be the only free ‘ad funded’ music site out there that’s stacking up and making money. Spotify is brilliant but they can’t seem to make the ad funded business work. There’s going to continue to be massive shake up and MUZU looks like its moving into a good position…

  • john reece

    I luv muzu and am sick to my neck with youtube. google are taking over the world..i’m all up for competition anything to stop google. the muzu jukebox walks all over youtube one. support new services like this i say. monopolies are not good for everyone.. fair play to the crew in MUZU. ya gotta love the irish.

    • Steve O'Hear

      With a name like O’Hear, of course I love the Irish :)

      • john reece

        lol…fair play to ya Steve

      • JB

        we got something in common we both love Irish things

  • Wendell Dryden

    I went. I searched. I clicked the top return. I got “video not available”.


    good luck with that, Irish.

  • Frank Bismarck

    Are you kidding me?? MUZU jukebox JUST launched TODAY… YouTube Disco has been around for over a month!

    If Google copied anyone (and I’m not saying they did copy anyone, I don’t think they did), it would be At least that was around before disco!

    TechCrunch becomes funnier every day, the shear ridiculousness of this article is astounding.

    If you’re going to imply (or in this case, outright state) that someone is copying off of someone else, it is a pre-requisite that the said copiers/infringers come AFTER the other website in question. Not the other way around.

    • Steve O'Hear

      Nowhere did I say YouTube copied anybody or even implied it. I said Muzu had been working on this feature for a while and launched it yesterday… but before they did, Google had encroached on the space. It’s what startups worry about all the time.

  • led display
    • MR

      I’ve been using Muzu for six months now. Love the service as it’s just the music and none of the rubbish. Plug your computer with the Muzu video jukebox into your flatpanel TV and away you go with your own personal MTV. Anyone know when they are opening it up outside UK?

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  • Drummond

    I just checked out the Muzu website, it seems there are a quite a few YouTube alternatives that have better solutions for video, vimeo is another example, but which haven’t managed to gain quite the same presence as YouTube.

    Things can change though!

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