The confetti from Apple’s splashy launch of its music streaming service has barely finished falling. Now comes startup Geekin Radio, with a streaming service that debuts today. It seems like odd timing.
How will it ever emerge from the shadows of Apple Music? CEO Gavin McCulley is aware of his timing and likes his company’s chances because Geekin Radio’s mobile app is the only streaming service that is an actual social network, offering a shared listening experience, perfectly synced, with back-and-forth chatting in real time.
A Geekin user can be in the middle of a song on their playlist and friends can join in live, listening and messaging back and forth. The app also has the potential for musicians to communicate directly to fans as they invite followers to listen in on their favorite songs.
“The Apple Music launch helped to teach more people to listen to music through streaming, and that was great for us,” McCulley told Cult of Mac. “But just like other services, Apple Music still provides an isolated listening experience. Geekin Radio provides a shared listening experience, which is what makes us different and helps us stand out.”
Big names like Apple, YouTube and Jay-Z have recently launched streaming services to get in on a sharply growing sector of the music economy, initially dominated by Pandora and Spotify. A growing number of listeners are willingly paying for subscriptions.
Whether Geekin’s attempt to take on big names in streaming and be a go-to social media platform is overly ambitious will be answered in time. For now, Geekin is geeked to enter the space with something new to offer.
Geekin will launch with access to more than 20 million songs through SoundCloud, with hopes it can pair with premium services like Apple Music or Spotify in the future updates. It is available for free in the iTunes store with an Android version coming soon.
You can follow friends, idols and popular broadcasters and copy their playlists. You can receive feedback for your songs with Fire, which is the Geekin version of a Like symbol. You can share Broadcasts, which is what Geekin calls playlists, via Twitter or text and use in-app messaging for live conversations, which disappear when a Broadcast ends.
“Ordinary people can become popular as tastemakers because it’s a great way to introduce new music,” McCulley said. “A lot of the artists we are talking to are excited to connect with their fans this way. Our tagline is, ‘the world listening together.'”