A new trend toward agnostic listening

Playmoss screenshotPart of the business model for most streaming platforms is to attract and retain the largest possible number of listeners. That could lead to a listening landscape that’s fractured, with people choosing just one or two services to fill all of their audio needs. Yet with each of the major players offering a slightly different subset of performers and content, it makes sense that listeners would be interested in combining the libraries of more than one streaming platform.

That’s a niche that the start-up industry has been keen to fill in recent months. We’ve seen a rising number of services and apps that aim to provide platform-agnostic listening, linking up accounts and streaming tracks from more than one source. Bop.fm, This Is My Jam, Tapely, Musx, and most recently Playmoss have all emerged to blur the lines between the streaming services they pull from.

Playmoss lets listeners create playlists across YouTube, SoundCloud, and Vimeo. It’s positioning itself as a tool for composers and musicians to help track their inspirations and influences: “Use our platform to save, organize and, most importantly, recall all the musical references you listen on the web throughout the day and share them after with your contacts and friends.” Even within the cross-platform niche, there’s more room for specialization.

Many agnostic streaming services are promoting their broader social sharing capabilities. With most on-demand services, there’s no way to share a track with a friend outside of that ecosystem. Hence a rise in apps focused on social sharing, such as Nusiki and BOOMiO, each of which agnostically taps into multiple music sources.

The idea clearly has appeal for listeners who want a central hub for all of their music. We’re curious to watch how these services evolve over time. Agnostic platforms will likely up their game in terms of usability, available platforms, and just good old fashioned marketing. The audience for them is currently small, but has the potential to vastly expand if more people hear about them.

Anna Washenko