We know Spotify and we know Apple Music. But did you realise there are other music streaming services worth your time?
Specifically Guvera, an Australian-born service that prides itself on being an unlimited ad-funded music-streaming service for consumers. Yes, there are still limitations like ads and limited track skips, but these guys want to do things differently.
After all, a company whose name was inspired by the revolutionary Che Guevera isn't just going to fall in line and maintain the status quo in the music industry...
Their interest does not lie in pushing you towards their subscription model, but rather keeping you engaged on their free ad-funded platform. For example, they teamed up with American Express to fly contest winners to Los Angeles to watch Jessie J perform and they’ve also partnered with Livescape Asia on cruise festival It’s The Ship to bring other types of related content that listeners might actually enjoy having brought to their attention.
As Stephen Deane, global commercial director for Guvera shares with us, "What we do is bring in brands to support that dollar (that you would have paid for a track on iTunes) and underwrite it, because ultimately that dollar still gets attributed to the relevant parties, but the consumer gets to access that content for what they perceive as nothing, but is actually their time".
And it's in this time that they aim to keep you engaged with the right content that happen within the app itself for a seamless user experience, instead of redirecting you elsewhere. Think contextual commercials instead of can-we-just-get-this-over-with ad spam. Is it even possible to enjoy commercial breaks nowadays? Only one way to find out. Get on Guvera.
Unlike most other services that only give you access to offline listening in the paid model, Guvera’s a lot more forgiving when it comes to music streaming on a data connection.
But with Guvera, whatever you listen to is automatically buffered so the next time you listen to it on a data connection, less data is consumed as the tracks load that much quicker when they come up in your playlist again in free play mode.
The company is working on an even better solution for our poor data-starved lives. But be patient, young padawan, all will be revealed in due time.
If you like your music local, Guvera is your best friend.
From the Philippines to Malaysia to Singapore, the company aims to work with local music artistes to bring their music to bigger audiences. So look out for live showcases and playlists featuring your favourite local performers. Rest assured that on Guvera, they will not be outshined by the global music artists.
Most of the people working in Guvera come from a music industry background so they're perfectly suited to curate Guvera’s playlists which are not based on cold, disconnected algorithms to take you on a musical journey from start to finish.
As Deane explains, "Other streaming services have commoditised playlist curation because they're using algorithms to do it. But ultimately, you have a human that's created a masterpiece of music, so how can a computer programme recognise those inherently human characteristics and respect the art of what that means to actually curate something that another human can enjoy? I actually don't think it's that possible.
I'm sure they're constantly trying to improve algorithms, but ultimately it still comes down to the human ear and the emotion that creates and curates them, and respects the cultures. Think of Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia where you have multiple dialects and cultures within the market. A computer algorithm is never going to be able to do that."
Case in point? Google Photos' gorilla boo-boo.