mflow is an online social music streaming, recommendation and mp3-retailing service. It allows users to search for, stream and recommend music free of charge. There is no advertising and no need to make any purchases in order to be able to listen to any tracks or make recommendations (flows) on the service. Template:Infobox software
Company Background Edit
Founded in 2008, mflow is a social music sharing and downloading service, developed by Digital Distribution Networks in London.
The service was first launched as a limited beta, open only to invited users in December 2009. In its first iteration the application was exclusively a software download that ran locally on user’s computers. In August 2010, mflow started developing a rich HTML5 based internet application, eliminating the need to download any software. On December 3rd, 2010 mflow launched the first beta version of their web based service with a greatly expanded feature list. Mflow is currently operating as an open beta.
Digital Distribution Networks raised funding in 2008 from Russian TV channel TNT. The deal included multiple rounds of funding tied into one deal. Details and amounts remain confidential.
Business Model Edit
mflow is a digital retailer and makes money by selling digital music.
Users are able to subscribe to (or follow) other user profiles and listen to the music they recommend. They can also re-flow the tracks, thus spreading music they like to their own followers.
In February 2011, mflow introduced playlists; bringing their feature set inline with other streaming services such as Grooveshark and spotify. Another form of accessing this platform’s library is by following certain #(hash) tags. This method is a direct translation from twitter’s use of tags to categorize and make lists of certain topics, only on mflow, it is music that is being categorized and tagged. If a user is particularly interested in a certain genre of music, they can search the library for specific tags and get more refined musical recommendations.
Users can flow tracks to facebook, twitter, google_buzz and via email. A track flowed to facebook embeds a small flash based player on the user’s facebook profile. A track flowed to twitter will provide a shortened link via flo.mu to the track page on mflow.
Music sales & rewards system Edit
Uniquely, mflow rewards users for recommending music. 20% of the retail price of tracks and albums sold on mflow are redistributed back to the recommending user(s) as “mflow credits”.
mflow is written as a web application that uses some of the newest features available in HTML5. Flash-less playback is supported on HTML5 browsers using the audio tag. Backwards compatibility for older browsers is provided using a small embedded flash player. The use of HTML5 audio allows mflow to work from a variety of non-PC devices such as the iPad or iPhone. mflow is also compatible with most Android devices.
As of January 2011, mflow has a catalogue of approximately five million tracks. These can be found using searches for artists, albums, titles, labels, genres and users. Current label partners include: Universal, Sony, PIAS, Beggars, Ingrooves, Skint Records, Domino Recordings, Ministry of Sound, IODA and many more.