19 Jun 2015
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Kiwi music app changing the way we discover music

By Shannon Williams

25 Most Played is a music discovery app that allows users to discover new music in an entirely new way.

The app is designed to help users find music based on what their friends or influencers/celebrities have been listening to. Users can look at individuals, or create groups of people who have similar music tastes, and see the 25 most played songs across the group.

“It can be pretty daunting jumping onto Spotify, iTunes etc and being confronted with over 30 million choices, so we publish a finite list of 25 most popular songs based on filters that the user has set,” explains Anthony Gardiner, 25 Most Played founder.

“While Spotify and Sound Cloud are great, there’s just too much choice,” he says.

“It’s great to use your friends as a filter. And because there is a finite number of options, it’s easier to discover cool stuff,” he explains.

Users can then listen to a 30-second sample of the song and if they like it, they can buy it in app (from iTunes) or jump onto Spotify or whatever streaming service they are subscribed to.

The service pulls through users’ iTunes data and merges it with their Facebook social data so to create super-relevant music charts. When asked how the app sets its self apart from streaming services, Gardiner is quick to explain the difference. “We’re primarily a music discovery platform. Only an idiot like Jay Z would try to launch their own streaming service,” he muses. 

Gardiner says the app was primarily designed as a fan-based music distribution service. “With the changes that have happened to the music industry, music consumption has changed markedly and therefore the traditional distribution channels are not as relevant as they once were,” he says.

“It was basically designed as a replacement to the Billboard music charts, which is irrelevant unless you’re a 14-year old.”

Users can also create a group of people who are at their house, and then see the perfect playlist for that bunch of friends. They can then use Spotify or whatever music streaming/playing service they use to play this for the night - keeping everyone happy.

“Our algorithms are a bit of a trade secret, but we ensure that outliers are removed from these combined playlists except under specific circumstances. This means that if there is one Slipknot fan amongst a bunch of Katy Perry listeners that the playlist should keep everyone happy.

“Music taste is something people can’t bullshit. If you like Justin Beiber, it’ll show on your profile.”

“I am still very passionate about music, and it is wrong to think that all new music is not to my taste – only that it can be challenging to discover it. That is the gap we hope to fill by creating this social music discovery platform,” Gardiner says.

25 Most Played launched earlier this month and now has users in 20 countries including New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Sweden, Azerbaijan, and Mexico.

Gardiner says they are looking at partnering with other streaming services, and the 25 Most Played app can plug straight into the Apple Music service that was announced last week. The app is free for iOS users and the company has plans to launch an Android version in the near future.

Like anything though, the success or failure of this platform will ultimately rest with whether or not the average punter likes it,” Gardiner says. “In saying that, if it is only ever me and my music-loving friends who use this, I will be able to discover lots of cool music (and rediscover old classics I had forgotten) and will therefore be happy.”

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