Japanese music startup Beatrobo finally releases its iPhone app



I’ve been a fan of Japanese online music service Beatrobo for about a year now. With an English website that targets global users from the very start, Beatorobo lets you build music playlists primarily from YouTube. So far I’ve been using Beatrobo on my Mac via its web interface. I prefer creating an app for it using Fluid rather than running it in my browser, allowing for quick and easy tab switching when needed. And that’s all well and good when I’m on my Mac, but I’ve been craving a Beatrobo mobile app for a while now.

So I was pretty pleased on Friday to hear from Beatorobo CEO Hiroshi Asaeda, who pointed out that the music service has finally hit Apple’s App Store. I’ve been casually using it over the past few days, and so far it has practically all the features that attracted me to the web version. In fact, the interface may even be better suited to mobile as its far easier to scroll through playlists and pick a song you like.

The one drawback that I found was that you can’t search for new songs as you can in the web app. But I’m told that this will be coming in the next version of the app. For now the focus is more on social interaction, as the people search feature lets you find friends who may have songs or playlists you like. In this way, the emphasis is on social music discovery, rather than just searching through YouTube’s music offerings. For example, I’m enjoying exploring the music that my brother is listening to on Beatrobo, as we used to frequently recommend tunes to each other in person.

Overall, I think this is a great step for the company. I don’t know if they will run into issues with music providers or with YouTube for offering this kind of service, and I’m sure they are treading very carefully. But it’s a quality service, and with other online music providers like Spotify or Rdio not yet serving the Japanese market, I think there’s an opportunity here. At least for now.

Beatrobo previously raised $600,000 in funding in April of 2012 from CyberAgent Ventures, Movida Japan, and KLab Ventures.

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  1. It’s a little like making mixed tapes, for any of you who may have grown up in the 80s like me.  ↩