In this day and age, artists who want to promote their music have a mammoth task ahead of them. Listeners can get music from a wide variety of sources, and standing out from the crowd can be difficult, to say the least.
That’s why PJ Pedroni, a Seattle-based entrepreneur, set out to create Boomio, a new app that aims to make it easy for people to share music and promote the work of their favorite artists. The spark of the app came after watching the band Alien Ant Farm attempt to promote a new record the band was in the process of creating.
“So I was watching them promote on social media last year, I was literally sitting on my couch in (Fircrest, Wash.), and I was watching as these guys were posting messages on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, and saying ‘Hey, go to this terrestrial radio station in South Dakota that’s streaming our new song and vote for it, we’re trying to get on the hot 9 at 9,’ or whatever it was,” he told GeekWire in an interview.
“And I just kind of sat there stunned, like, really, you own the content. You guys made it, you own the rights to it, this seems so 1990s to me to send somebody to a radio station website.”
After that, Pedroni set out to create an app that made it easy for artists to share their music with their fans, and get fans to promote it to their friends.
To make Boomio a reality, Pedroni teamed up with co-founders Randy Kath, a former Microsoft exec who most recently served as the Vice President of Channel Marketing for Windows Phone; and Bob Case, who worked with Pedroni when he was the Program Director at Seattle’s KUBE 93.
The app is fairly straightforward – users can listen once to any song in Boomio’s catalog for free, so long as they share it with their friends. Users can keep their sharing to only Boomio’s network, or spread it out to other social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those friends who get the song (known as a Boom) shared with them can listen to it once, as well. If they want to hear it again, they have to share it out to their friends. Here’s a video that shows how it works:
Users can also share songs in line with one another and create a “Boomlist” of tracks. It’s a way for friends to share songs around a theme, like chilling out on a Friday night, or getting pumped up for a big party. Users can listen to a whole Boomlist in one go, and once they hit the end, the app will allow them to re-listen to those tracks if they watch a video ad.
Right now, Boomio only has an iPhone app available, but Pedroni said that the company is in the process of developing one for Android. For the moment, people without one of Apple’s devices will have to listen to music shared from Boomio through the company’s cross-platform web player.
The service has caught on with record companies looking for a new way to get their music into the hands of consumers. Pedroni said the company’s catalog currently features music from all the major labels. Getting the record companies on board was something Pedroni thought would be difficult, but he said that they’ve all been very receptive to what the company is working on.
“In the beginning, we were nervous about that because we thought maybe we would have to pay them a ton of money to do something, but they all see that we’ve built this platform with them in mind, and they love the promotional aspect of it,” Pedroni said.
Boomio even has access to Taylor Swift’s back catalog, which is notable after the singer/songwriter pulled her music from Spotify earlier this year.
There’s room for Boomio to grow in the future. Pedroni said that he hopes to work with streaming services like Spotify to allow users to share their boomlists. What’s more, the company plans to make its service available to smaller artists who aren’t yet signed to a major label.
“In Q1, we’ll launch a DIY platform for unsigned artists so that they can have the ability to upload their music to Boomio, we’ll ingest it, and then they can go out and start sharing their music with their fanbase,” he said.
Boomio is available for download on the iOS App Store.