Bop.fm raises $2M, positioned as a universal remote control for streaming music

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Bop.fm, a streaming startup founded seven months ago in the Y Combinator seed-funding group, has obtained a $2-million funding round from Charles River Ventures. Bop enables music sharing on a platform that hooks into popular streaming services.

Bop.fm seeks to solve the problem of fragmentation in the streaming-service industry, which puts each service in a silo accessed by membership. If a Spotify member wants to share a song with a friend, and that friend uses Rdio or Beats Music, the firewalls around those three services prevent easy sharing.

The common recourse is to dig into YouTube, which is available to everyone, find the song, and share that link instead of the Spotify link. Good for YouTube; bad for Spotify; a nuisance for the user.

Bop.fm eases the hassle of that runaround by providing a Bop.fm link which, when shared, places the recipient in an environment (the Bop.fm service) where the song plays according to the recipient’s memberships. Spotify, Rdio, and Beats Music are currently supported. If the recipient doesn’t use any of those three, Bop.fm finds the song in YouTube or SoundCloud (which likewise does not require membership authentication) and plays it.

bop fm spotify notice 275wIn our testing, the key function of activating a Spotify membership within Bop.fm did not work. The Bop site failed to find the existence of Spotify’s app in the test computer. Even with the Spotify app open and running on the machine, Bop.fm could not recognize it, or play songs in it. We could not find an Android mobile version of Bop.fm for further testing of Spotify linkage. We have to conclude that this core feature failed in our testing environment.

Aside from that (important) glitch, we find the Bop.fm experience pleasurable, and the solution it provides is worthy. The user interface, feature layout, and general design are outstanding. We can easily imagine Bop.fm’s web app becoming a favorite service for many people.

To all appearances, Bop.fm is an interactive online music service with a lean-back “radio” component based on artist selection. In other words, it feels pretty much like Spotify and Rdio, with a similar feature set. There is a discovery mode. The user can save favorites and build playlists.

All this is accomplished without Bop.fm needing to acquire any music. An unaffiliated user hears music sourced from YouTube and SoundCloud. An affiliated user can work Bop.fm as a remote control for one (or more) of the three supported services. Spotify et al don’t lose much skin in the game, as they serve the streams. If Bop.fm makes life easier for Spotify, Rdio, or Beats subscribers, the result will probably be increased use of those libraries.

We look forward to watching Bop.fm’s development, funded by its new capital.

Brad Hill


  1. the article does not give a link to the website?

  2. Is sharing playlists really a problem that demands a solution? DIfficult to see how this app becomes monetized. But that said, I wish them luck.

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