Rhapsody launches SongMatch, its first auxiliary mobile app and Shazam rival

rhapsody songmatch

Finally after weeks of bug fixes, Rhapsody has launched its answer to Shazam and Soundhound, called SongMatch for U.S. users. Except unlike the competitors, Rhapsody SongMatch guarantees that it treats its users better.

Shazam is arguably the most recognizable song matching service. It started out as a music discovery tool to tag the artist to a track playing that you either can’t remember or don’t know at all. But music playback is limited to 30 second excerpts. With the way Shazam works, it encourages users to make purchases for the full track through iTunes instead (though you can play them back via YouTube video).

rhapsody songmatch

Rhapsody is solving this pain point with SongMatch. SongMatch users, granted that they’ve subscribed to Rhapsody and own an Android phone, can tag the songs playing in the background, find new music by the same artist, find similar artists, and play the tagged song. If you haven’t subscribed to Rhapsody, SongMatch is still free to download and free to use, but the only feature disabled is playback. 

Streaming tracks using SongMatch would use less data and battery than via YouTube videos, like in Shazam. That for starters is a plus, but an additional perk is that once users tag a song, the tracks are stored in a Rhapsody playlist with you can access as you wish on any supported devices including your tablet, smartphone, or TV.

I talked to Rhapsody’s Head of Product Paul Springer prior to the launch of the standalone SongMatch app, and the impression that I was getting from him was that Rhapsody is venturing into building out mobile-driven products to increase user engagement with its services. “Mobile is so important for customers, and increasingly an important part of their lives. And our mission is to create a daily habit with customers around music and around listening. That necessitates that we help solve some of the problems they have in mobile in a better fashion,” says Springer.

For those of you that are curious SongMatch’s music recognition tech is powered by Gracenote, which only needs the first few seconds of the song to recognize the track.

There really isn’t much of a monetization strategy behind releasing SongMatch. SongMatch is 100 percent ad-free. For now Rhapsody is primarily concerned with two types of users with the music discovery feature (which, ultimately, is about engaging consumers with Rhapsody’s music streaming service of 16 million songs). First it’s the existing subscribers that can play more music and stay engaged with Rhapsody longer. If users aren’t finding value in the subscription, no matter the cost, Springer found, they’ll click the unsubscribe button right away. “My goal is to create a daily habit, so I’m not going to stop until every customer is using Rhapsody every single day, and ingrained as part of their daily habits. And we’re seeing very good trends in that direction,” says Springer. SongMatch is the first mobile “purpose-built” apps to boost engagement and there are more auxiliary apps in the works. Second, by offering a robust songmatching product, Rhapsody hopes that it can acquire new subscribers that might be fed up with not being able to play back songs. New users can sign up for a trial without entering in their credit card, which fuels new customer acquisitions.

Rhapsody’s SongMatch app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. The app for iOS and other devices is in the works, but Springer declined to provide a timeline.

Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.