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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Music player Winamp still exists – and it’s reinventing itself for the age of streaming

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Bear in mind Winamp? The enduring music participant for desktop computer systems revolutionized music consumption within the Nineteen Nineties, however pale from view as music listeners switched to smartphones and streaming.

Now the app is again with a brand new product for the trendy period. Its Belgium-based proprietor, Llama Group, is launching a brand new model that shall be obtainable for Android and Apple gadgets, which it payments as an all-purpose app for music connoisseurs.

(Although to listen to Llama Group inform it, Winamp by no means went away; the corporate says the present desktop app has 83 million customers worldwide.)

The brand new cell Winamp will be capable to stream podcasts and on-line radio stations, and later this 12 months, it will likely be in a position to combine music streaming subscriptions like Spotify, permitting subscribers to entry their playlists by means of Winamp. And just like the previous Winamp, it should additionally play music information saved regionally on a tool.

However Llama Group’s ambitions are bigger than that; they need the participant to “unlock the connection between artists and followers, whereas empowering creators to turn into their very own retailers.”

To that finish, the app features a characteristic referred to as the Fanzone, the place creators can arrange tiered subscription plans by means of which their followers can entry unique content material and purchase artist merchandise.

“Creators discover it more and more exhausting to achieve worth from streaming providers, making it tougher for them to maintain their artwork and develop their careers,” Llama Group CEO Alexandre Saboundjian mentioned in an announcement.

“On this atmosphere, artists must take their future into their very own fingers – they should complement the earnings by changing into their very own retailers. … With the brand new Winamp participant, our goal is to empower creators to earn more money, at a time once they actually need it.”

The Fanzone shall be obtainable to impartial artists, artists signed to labels and even to labels themselves, Llama Group mentioned in an e-mail to MBW.

“We’re in superior discussions with impartial labels that wish to open a brand new sort of market to get even nearer to their followers – the followers of the artists and the music they produce – and to supply them unique content material and distinctive experiences,” the corporate mentioned by means of a spokesperson.

“The Fanzone is the service, the instruments and the chance for artists and labels to turn into higher retailers of their content material.”

Llama Group is evident that it’s not aiming to compete with music streaming providers.

“Winamp doesn’t have the ambition to turn into a DSP, and certainly the concept is to be complementary to the present streaming music ecosystem,” the corporate mentioned.

Perhaps essentially the most shocking factor about Winamp’s leap into the world of smartphones and streaming is how lengthy it took to occur. In any case, it’s been 16 years since Apple launched the iPhone and altered the best way the world consumes media.

However for Winamp, the highway to the cell period was a rocky one. In 2013, the app narrowly averted being shut down by its proprietor AOL, earlier than being rescued by Belgian radio aggregator Radionomy. After a merger and a rebrand, that firm is now Llama Group.

(The corporate’s identify is a reference to the truth that Winamp makes use of a llama as its mascot. The unique Winamp famously got here with a default audio file referred to as “Winamp, it actually whips the llama’s ass.”)

“Winamp doesn’t have the ambition to turn into a DSP, and certainly the concept is to be complementary to the present streaming music ecosystem.”

Llama Group

Saboundjian introduced as way back as 2018 that the app could be relaunched for smartphones and would characteristic the flexibility to combine streaming providers.

The corporate is lastly able to put a date to that promise: Streaming integration will start within the fourth quarter of 2023.

Llama Group’s purpose is to develop the Winamp person base to 250 million individuals, and to get a million artists to arrange store on the Fanzone.

“A brand new era of superfans are searching for new methods to spend cash on, and interact with, their favourite artists. Winamp’s Fanzone affords them a chance to do exactly that,” Saboundjian mentioned.Music Enterprise Worldwide


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