Bloom.fm

Finally Bloom.fm is on the app store and officially launched.  For the last 15 months I’ve been leading a team of designers and programmers to develop this app.  I was given full control of the product which is fortunate because I really wanted to make a music app that I would use myself everyday. The principles I tried to embody inside Bloom are: Focus, Design, Usability, Performance.  As anyone who’s been in startups will tell you, it’s surprisingly hard to follow through on these principles when so many stakeholders want a piece of the action but I think the team has managed to do it.

After 14 months of iOS/Objective-C development, I’m now going to focus mostly on the Android app. It’s been 7 years since I’ve done full time Java development so this will be an interesting change :-). Over the last 4 years I’ve been a full time C++/QT developer, HTML/CSS developer, C# developer, Objective-C/iOS and now Java/Android developer.  It’s all over the place but somewhat exciting to mix up the work load with technical challenges of different flavours.

You may here a lot about Bloom.fm being founded by the same people as the short lived mflow.  In a way it’s true, it’s the same company and same investors but just to be clear: mflow was the brain child of some non-techie marketing types (led by a committee) allowed to run amok. Bloom.fm is the brain child of techie-designer-music types (led by myself) allowed to run amok.  Time will tell which approach is more successful :-)

Why Bloom.fm?

With an almost zero-cost for Internet distribution, it makes sense for the music industry to encourage growth  of legal music consumption rather than increase (or maintain) prices to ward off loses from rampant piracy.  At Bloom.fm we use two strategies for encouraging growth.

The first is that we bet on the mobile computing revolution and have focused on creating the most usable music app for smartphones.  For many, a la carte shops are too expensive an option and streaming music apps are still too complicated and don’t give the “joy” that you may get from using other types of apps.  By designing an app from the ground up with mobile in mind we hope to capture a large chunk of users who haven’t fully gone digital yet.

The second is that we negotiated lower pricing.  For many people (especially students), £10 a month is too high whilst they’re studying but if we offer them a service that makes sense and at a fair price we hope that they will see the benefit of paying for music when they graduate and are in a position to pay for the premium subscription levels.

We don’t see streaming services cannibalising traditional music sales; we see music services complementing and growing the addressable market.

 

 

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