Exclusive: Thumbplay Tapping Echo Nest On Upcoming Music Service

  • Save

Spotify is best known for its ad-supported, feels-like-free service, though the free-for-all is rubbing US-based majors the wrong way.

But when it comes to mobile, on-the-go access, premium is the word.

Well, that is a philosophy also shared by Thumbplay on its upcoming mobile music service, one that skips the ad-based freebie tier.  The beta concept, first tipped last week, is an on-demand, cloud-based approach, but Thumbplay has licensed millions of major label tracks in the US.  And, just like Spotify, Thumbplay is tapping The Echo Nest to help curate the massive catalog, according to details confirmed Tuesday by Digital Music News.

Both Spotify and Thumbplay Music share the same problem.  Users can get paralyzed by the infinite selection, and earlier competitors like Rhapsody taught the industry that immense libraries are just one puzzle piece.  In that light, The Echo Nest is currently employing a range of music discovery and interactive playlisting enhancements to the Thumbplay launch.  The first implementation is AutoPlaylist, which generates a quick playlist based on a single song.

That means lots of music discovery and interactive playlisting, an enhancement that could prime premium interest.  “Thumbplay is employing a lot of our cultural and acoustical attribute data,” Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese told Digital Music News.  “We’re firm believers that user experience will drive willingness to pay on a catalog that large.”

Currently, Thumbplay Music is a private, invite-only, US-based beta, limited to the Blackberry but eventually expanding towards the iPhone, Android, and other devices.  Stay tuned for a closer look