Roqbot launches a music app for businesses

December 4, 2012

Now a small business can easily offer a social music experience for customers.

Roqbot, a company that was funded with $1.2 million in seed financing this summer, led by Google Ventures, announced Tuesday morning that it's released its mobile app for businesses. The new app allows small businesses, like a local bar or coffee shop, to play music from their mobile phones.

OK. You're probably asking: "Why can't they play music from their mobile phones today?"

They can. But businesses are required to pay performance rights organizations, or PRO's, (ASCAP, BMI & SESAC), to play music publicly. Businesses can pay directly to the PROs, but often they use a business music service, which includes the PRO licenses in a monthly fee, said Garrett Dodge, founder and CEO, in an interview.

These music services, such as Muzak, XM for Business and Music Choice, traditionally deliver the music by CDs or satellite. But clearly, these services don't provide much customization (enabling a business to create playlists), especially if they're shipping CDs.

You might be asking why then won't a small business just turn on Pandora or Spotify. They can. But those services don't have business licenses to allow other businesses to play music in public, said Dodge. Those services are strictly focused on the consumer.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen, Vator News, December 4th, 2012

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