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Style Jukebox, a Romanian music-service founded last year, emerges as an alternative to popular services like Google Music and iCloud. The service itself is designed to be an easy-to-use platform for hosting music that you’ve bought. The founders of the company wanted to come up with a service which would allow users to manage their music across platforms. Although it’s a cloud-based service, users can also access their music offline.
I spoke with Ionut Antiu, who co-founded the company with his friend Radu-Ionut Prescura, and he tells me that they’ve managed to attract 35,000 users and are closing in on 40k. At the moment they view 100,000 users as an important benchmark and that they’re currently striving to hit that total.
When we review a number of different startups and services, the teams behind are often still in the process of developing mobile apps and might be on only 1 or 2 platforms. Although this company was founded last year, they’re really on the ball and have managed to develop apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
In terms of funding, Antiu wishes to say only that they’ve obtained 25,000 euro in funding at this point from a Romanian Angel investor. I asked him about monetization and he tells me that they have plans to offer a premium service which might offer more space, support for higher-quality audio files, and integration with more devices. This additional service has not been rolled out, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for it.
Antiu tells me that he feels that his company holds an advantage over services like Google Music and iCloud in that Style Jukebox is a cross-platform service and seemingly more intuitive to use.
For Style Jukebox, the hook is that they offer users the space to upload up to 2,000 songs for free. It’s possible to host even more than that, but the company has established a system of challenges for doing it. Essentially, users who use up their space can get more by actively promoting the service over Facebook, Twitter, or other social-media services.
Finally, Antiu tells me that his company is a Microsoft BizSpark partner and that this entitles them to $60,000 (46,000 euro) worth of Windows Azure, which is the cloud technology upon which their business is based.
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