In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week Martin Rigby, CEO, introduces music streaming service Psonar.
What does Psonar do?
Psonar is an on-demand streaming music service, optimised for mobile, that lets people listen to music on a pay-as-you-go (we call that ‘Pay Per Play’) basis without ads or interruptions.
There are millions of people worldwide who want access to streaming music on mobile but don’t have bank accounts or credit cards and can’t afford $120 per annum. Psonar Pay Per Play gives them convenient, affordable access to great music, whenever they want – and they can pay with their mobile using direct-to-bill payment.
What are your main goals?
To bring affordable on-demand streaming to every mobile user worldwide who wants it – including the hundreds of millions of people who can never afford to pay a subscription of $120 per annum but who want access to great international and local music in a convenient way.
We aim to launch in every territory with a high level of smartphone penetration, most people on pre-pay and where there is a vibrant music scene.
“Mobile operators are our key partners – they offer us the ability to bring on-demand streaming to our users affordably and conveniently”
Where do you see Psonar in three years’ time?
In 3 years time we aim to be live across the globe with tens of millions of users.
Mobile operators are our key partners – they offer us the ability to bring on-demand streaming to our users affordably and conveniently and we offer them the ability attract and retain both subscribers and pre-pay customers, as well as exploit the huge potential of direct-to-bill payments.
What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?
As I mentioned, we are really passionate about making access to rich media accessible and affordable to everyone on the planet. It’s great that there are a number of forward-thinking mobile operators and device-makers who share our vision for affordable streaming music and are working with us to bring Psonar Pay Per Play to a global audience.
What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?
First, ensuring network traffic capacity doesn’t inhibit a pleasurable and responsive experience for most mobile users.
Secondly, making sure that the costs of data over 4G/LTE and cost of payment don’t stifle the ability to deliver music streaming to every kind of mobile user – rich and poor.
Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?
Three mobile companies that I’m watching right now are Snapchat, Shazam, and Box. I was at the SXSW conference in Austin earlier this year and a repeated theme was Snapchat’s insightful innovation around ephemeral messaging – i.e. that teenagers and young adults want an online social channel that doesn’t burden them with the potential legacy of off-the-cuff remarks or photos coming to haunt them years later.
Shazam has a history of adapting to market opportunities as they emerge. First, evolving from pure music play that became a must-have among music apps and now diversifying into product identification on interactive TV.
I like efficient pure utilities like Box.com, which has cracked the challenge of convenience versus security for Cloud storage. With another $150M in funding, it’ll be a business to watch as they prepare to go public in the fall.