The application is meant as a search tool for all playable media and according to Seeq’s CEO, Kasian Franks, its main competitors are Google, Apple, and MSN Live Search. Seeq hopes to leverage the power of music to make their search product succesful in the same way that Apple has done with iTunes in online digital media sales. Based on Seeq’s past usage, however, it is positioned to compete head-to-head with music players like Pandora (not Google) which also just released a stand-alone music app for Windows mobile yesterday, according to that company’s blog.
Unfortunately for SeeqPod, it has been waiting for approval from Apple to be released in the App Store — likely because it poses as direct competition to iTunes. This may be one of the reasons it already lags behind Pandora on the iPhone. Pandora has been the most-used app on the iPhone, with more than 2 million users. Other competition for Seeq includes companies like Songza and Last.fm that are web-based music players available through Safari, Chrome and other browsers on phones. Seeq’s website gets about 45 million unique visitors per month — a pretty significant number. The important part will be to to find a way to drive some of this traffic to the Windows Mobile app to actually make some money. The profit model includes a one-time fee of $10 to buy the app, but that’s a lot compared to Pandora’s fee: free (Pandora and some others make money by advertising).
SeeqPod does have future plans to make money through advertising with a new product called Echo (unreleased so far). With it, ad firms will be able to market their music-related products against the 7 million music-related queries on SeeqPod per day. Seeq will obviously face some tough competition in this arena from the search giants. We wrote last year about SeeqPod’s claim to have superior searching technology. The founders have a background in the life sciences, and the SeeqPod application works by using a biomimetic search technology developed at the Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. Seeq’s engines crawl the internet and catalog all the playable content offered through various sites like Last.fm and YouTube in a way that’s similar to how the human brain searches for information. The point is, if searching and discovering (or search related ad revenue) is important to you, you might want to check out SeeqPod.
Based in Emeryville, CA, SeeqPod has received $5 million in funding from undisclosed sources and has given 5% equity stake to Lawrence Berkeley Labs. Seeq plans to talk with Microsoft to release their app on the Windows Mobile Marketplace (called SkyMarket) when it becomes available. They also plan to release applications for Blackberry devices made by Research in Motion and devices that use Google’s Android operating system in 2009. Now that the product is competing directly against the more popular music programs like Pandora, iMeem, and Last.fm on iPhones, G1s, Windows Smartphones and PocketPCs, and other phones, the question is whether SeeqPod can gain enough recognition in this crowded market to win the number of users it needs to turn a profit.
If you’re interested in trying out SeeqPod, they’re allowing a free demo of the Windows Mobile app for the next three days. If you’re a curious iPhone user, check out the free web-based app though Safari here.