bop.fm is a digital music startup revolutionising the way we discover, experience and share music online.
Who is your startup aimed at?
bop.fm is aimed at any person who enjoys listening to music online.
How does your startup stand out against it’s competitors?
With bop.fm, we believe we are providing a new experience than other companies in the market. With our service users can share links with friends without worrying about country availability or paywall blockages, and assemble playlists seamlessly across service platforms. We automatically search music services such as Spotify, Rdio, Soundcloud, Youtube, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, taking user-service arrangements into account to generate a single stream and single purchase link guaranteed to work.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
For the last decade or so, the way people access music has gone through dramatic and rapid changes. If you look at user activity now, there is incredible diversity in the public’s interaction with music. Some of the services are paid, some are ad-funded, some are free with limited content. What you have are a number of niche services with different advantages and shortcomings, and then a few larger services that take larger, but still incomplete sections of the market. For all the abundance of options, there is no unified experience of music. Some links will work for some users but not for others, some people pay to join services but can’t share their interests and tastes with friends who haven’t — it’s all very fragmented. We created bop.fm to sit on top of all the various ways people access music and streamline the process, fostering cohesion in the experience.
Did you have any concerns when starting your business, if so what were they?
We were initially concerned about how difficult it has historically been for music startups to thrive. However, we studied all the common pitfalls that most music startups face and created a strategy that addressed every one of them. bop.fm prides itself in creating a win-win-win for all the major stakeholders in the industry – users, music services, and artists/labels.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I am a graduate of Wharton and am a Mentor at The Thiel Foundation. I earlier worked at Billshrink, Rho Ventures and Kayak prior to co-founding bop.fm with my partner Stefan Gomez.
How did you initially raise funding for your company?
We initially raised funding through Y Combinator, an accelerator program we are graduates of.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
Assembling an incredibly talented yet modest team that is collectively motivated to revolutionize the way we discover and share music, while still being a joy to work with everyday.
How do you keep your business relevant, and engaged with your audience over the last 3 years?
For keeping bop.fm relevant, our belief is that we need to remain 100% focused on creating the best user experience for our users. We believe bop.fm’s true potential lies in the ways it can combine with other services to integrate the music experience, and we are committed to creating the best product in the market.
How long has the your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
bop.fm was founded 2013. For the founding team, I am a graduate of Wharton and am a Mentor at The Thiel Foundation. I earlier worked at Billshrink, Rho Ventures and Kayak prior to co-founding bop.fm with my partner Stefan Gomez. Stefan was formerly a senior software developer at Science, development manager at Billshrink, and UX engineer at Foodily.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
Staying focused. There are a million things that can be done at any given point in time, but ultimately only one or two should be focused on in order to achieve the company’s most important goals.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
In the coming year, we are looking to continue building out our team and securing additional partnerships.
What has been your most valuable lesson so far since starting your business?
It’s never too early to start establishing and investing in company culture. The set of norms and principles that guides your team is crucial to a self-sustaining enterprise.
Finally, If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Only start a company if you’re truly passionate about its mission. When the going gets tough, its that passion that will help you persevere.