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MALMÖ, Sweden — Amid all the music services currently vying for attention, Swedish startup Tunaspot is doing something interesting by attaching location data to popular playlists.
Tunaspot, which was showing off its newly released iPhone app at the Media Evolution conference in Sweden yesterday, lets you create playlists that are tailored for a specific experience when you arrive at a particular location. For example, a local record shop owner may want to create a playlist of indie bands performing at a nearby music festival. Tunaspot might recommend that playlist to you when you arrive at the airport/train station within the city — thus allowing you to get a taste of all the bands prior to the show. The service is plugged into Spotify’s API, which means users can skip through tracks they aren’t enjoying and replay songs they love.
“We want to be the service associated with attaching media to location, because no one is really doing it very well outside of sharing photos,” Tunaspot CEO and cofounder Alex Esser told VentureBeat at the conference.
Esser said Tunaspot plans to make money in part by selling branded playlists to companies and venues where it makes sense. (So perhaps Starbucks might offer you a playlist of jazz tracks when you pick up your coffee.) Users do have to launch the iPhone app to get those recommended playlists, or at least have it running in the background. You’ll also need to sign in using your Spotify account.
And while the startup is firmly focused on music playlists right now, Esser told me Tunaspot could eventually branch out to offer non-music audio streaming such as speeches or commentary that might be useful when casually touring notable locations within a historic city. It’s also planning to add support for Soundcloud and to begin offering premium access to an API so that other companies and brands can craft their own location-based audio experience using Tunaspot.
Founded in 2012, the Malmö, Sweden-based startup has raised a total of $267,000 in seed funding to date. Tunaspot has seven founders and four full-time employees. The startup competes with Soundwave, SoundTracking and a few others.
This story is part of our coverage of the Media Evolution conference in Malmö, Sweden this week. Disclosure: Media Evolution paid for my airfare and hotel. My coverage remains objective.