Hey kids, rock ‘n’ roll. Soundwave, the Mark Cuban-backed music discovery app that tracks the listening habits of you, your friends and other users you follow, has added support for YouTube. The iOS and Android app already let you track what you’re listening to on your phone’s native music player, as well as a plethora of streaming services, such as Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, 8tracks, and Google Music. However, with today’s update, Soundwave users can now link the app to their YouTube account so that they can begin tracking what they’ve listened to on the music service of choice for freetards.
Yes, I said music service. That’s because, by some estimates, the Google-owned video site is the number one music destination, particularly for younger, credit card-less, internet users. So, in that sense, Soundwave’s support for YouTube was conspicuous by its absence. And whilst it was probably on the roadmap from the get-go, the Dublin-based startup first needed to figure out how to distinguish non-music YouTube plays from music consumed on the video service. You wouldn’t want cat videos turning up in your Soundwave listening history, would you?
“We’ve been working really hard on a filtering system to ensure that only the correct content syncs over to Soundwave,” CEO and co-founder Brendan O’Driscoll tells TechCrunch. “So, if you watch a YouTube video of a cat falling out of a tree, that wont sync across, but if you watch a music video, that will. We’ve been really happy that this system is pretty water-tight as we’ve been beta testing the new feature, and it will only get smarter as time goes on.”
O’Driscoll thinks YouTube support will help Soundwave target a younger demographic who use YouTube like a music streaming service (even for us oldies, there is a ton of amazing music that’s only available on the video service, such as live concert or television performances). “A lot of these guys aren’t old enough to have extensive MP3 collections stored on their hard drives and they don’t have credit cards to purchase streaming subscriptions,” he notes. “So YouTube becomes the one-stop-shop for music consumption”.
Of course, by adding YouTube support, Soundwave is closer to fulfulling its own mission to become the one-stop-shop for tracking your own listening habits and in turn helping you discover new music through the listening habits of your friends and influencers you follow. It doesn’t harm the company’s Big Data play, either, in which it plans to sell aggregate listening data back to the music industry.
Downloads currently sit at 750,000, though the startup isn’t breaking out active monthly users. The app is most popular in the U.S., followed by Russia, UK, and France. It says 40m songs have been tracked in total.
Along with Cuban, Soundwave’s backers include ACT Venture Capital, Enterprise Ireland, Matthew Le Merle, and Trevor Bowen, one of the people behind U2′s management company Principle Management. Funding totals $1.5 million.