Helsinki's Playmysong Becomes A Spotify App

    As soon as it was announced that Spotify was opening up their API to users, Playmysong CTO Timo Kari did not sleep until he had a working prototype that would integrate their service into Spotify’s collection. This was apparently jumping the gun, Spotify wants developers to first submit their ideas to confirm that the Swedish music delivery service finds the idea interesting before letting developers know to proceed, but Kari was a man inspired. Today, after much more polish, Playmysong has been accepted into Spotify’s small, but growing list of apps.

    We’ve covered Playmysong plenty in the past, but if you’re unfamiliar with it, essentially it’s a modern update to the jukebox. At supported bars, restaurants, hotels, and other locations, Playmysong lets users pull up their smartphones and pick the next songs to play off of the location’s music library.

    The most basic use-case is for the new Spotify app is for house parties. Spotify seems to be the main method of music delivery but for the house parties I’ve been to in recent years, but it’s not perfect. A playlist usually keeps a party going, but when a partier wants that one song played, they usually search for and start the song off the playlist and you’re left hearing that artist’s b-sides on random for too long. Or sometimes a few people will just huddle around a computer to have their song played next, so all night you end up hearing just hearing half of every song.

    To use the Spotify app, you first drag and drop one of your playlists into the app, and plug in your address. This starts up the playlist on random. If you, or anyone listening to the music wants to request a song to play next, they can go on their iOS, Android, or Windows Phone device to find the host’s playlist using their location. For better or worse, the whole Spotify catalogue is not available to song requesters, only the songs from that playlist. But the team is considering a future update that will allow additional songs off the playlist to be approved by the person hosting the party.

    Playmysong imagines this addition will also be great for weddings, theme parties, and also for “paperless karaoke,” using Spotify’s catalogue of karaoke songs. I’m also thinking that our music-friendly office could use it to keep office-wide music going, but still leaving everyone in control.

    There’s also no minimum number of users needed to request music on Playmysong, so if you’re alone you can use it as the Spotify remote we’ve all been waiting for. You can have your computer hooked up to your sound system, and from the couch control the upcoming songs while keeping it automated based on a playlist.

    Business owners’ eyes might light up to the Spotify integration for the ease of adding music, but unfortunately Spotify does not give businesses the licensing rights needed to stream music publicly. Playmysong does offer business a pro version, however, but only for their other supported music applications using the businesses’ own library. Their Winamp version has been growing steadily according to the company, and can be found across Europe as well as New York and San Francisco.

    Wanting me to check out the app in person, last night I sat down with CEO Rami Korhonen at Bar Chaplin, a rock bar in the center of Helsinki. The use-case was an easy and convenient update to the standard jukebox-in-the-corner. We were drinking some beers outside and talking about music and the history of the Playmysong team, who have been a part of several bands.

    Korhonen told me a story about how he actually saw Nirvana way back when, and then pulled up the Playmysong app and lined up some Nirvana to play next. The conversation move on to the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing in a squat house in Helsinki back in the day, so that put me in the mood to play some Chili Peppers next. I haven’t seen a proper jukebox in a bar in years, so it’s great to finally think of a song to play, find it, and then play it in the lineup of music.

    Requesting songs through Playmysong is free, and the value to business owners is that users will stay longer if they wait for their song to be played. Additionally the attached social features of the app that song requesters can use to broadcast what songs they’ve requested at what bars. Korhonen says that the next major update of the mobile app, which is likely to drop early this fall, will be a more social update that will offer much more rewards for users.

    As a platform, Korhonen tells me Spotify was very easy to work with even though they have very high quality standards for their accepted applications. The developers at Playmysong also said  you can tell that Spotify was built from engineers who understand the power of APIs and how startups would want to work with the platform.

    Playmysong doesn’t receive any direct monetization through their Spotify app, although they see great power in tapping into and building a community around their product. Leaving Bar Chaplin last night, I was left with the feeling “why doesn’t this exist everywhere already?” so hopefully we’ll see it as the standard music delivery service in bars and other locations soon. I like having control over the music around me, and I imagine many people at bars and house parties feel the same way.

    If you don’t see Playmysong in your Spotify App list yet, you can use this link to find it.

    Playmysong is part of Lifeline Ventures, a Vigo Accelerator.