Streaming app turns phones into jukeboxes

Petrina Berry
(Australian Associated Press)

A new venture between an Australian company and music giant Spotify allows users to turn their phone into a jukebox and stream songs direct to the sound system of a bar, gym or cafe.

Background music specialist Nightlife Music has launched an app called crowdDJ which taps into people’s Spotify accounts to let them select a song to be played at public venues.

More than 600 venues across Australia have joined the venture so far and Nightlife Music managing director Mark Brownlee said the technology has the potential to revolutionise the way music is consumed in public spaces.

“Once upon a time you would walk into a pub and put money in a jukebox,” he said.

“Now you simply open our app and choose one of your Spotify songs to play in the venue.”

Mr Brownlee, whose company spent six years developing the Spofity-friendly platform, said the app filters playlists and only music that fits a venue’s brand are allowed to be selected.

“A lot of testing has gone into this and usually 50 per cent of songs fit the venue and people are still quite happy that some of their songs can be played in a public venue,” he said.

A priority system queues up music requests when there are multiple users, and crowdDJ requests are interspersed with the venue’s own playlist.

“As soon as they put the song on the playlist the app tells them how long it will be before it plays which encourages them to hang around longer which is good for business,” Mr Brownlee said.

The app is free for consumers while venues pay a subscription fee.

Spotify’s head of business development Asia-Pacific, Michael Richardson, said the app also allows fans to save any venue playlist they like so they can listen to it later on Spotify.

Nightlife Music, founded by Mr Brownlee and his childhood friend Tim De Souza, has been curating music for a variety of venues for 28 years.

The company now has about 5,000 clients, including 24-hour gym chain Snap Fitness and Queensland’s Pig ‘n’ Whistle pubs business.


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