When Spotify launched in 2006, the plan was to lure music pirates into a legal ecosystem that would make piracy less attractive while rewarding artists.
Although both of these goals have been achieved, piracy remains the go-to option for millions of music fans, and artists still complain that they are not being paid appropriately. Over time, these issues will need to be addressed, but in the meantime, the free music app TREBEL hopes it can play a unique role in the free streaming revolution.
After being a dark horse in the market for the past three years, TREBEL has now filed for an IPO in the United States and the SEC filing leaves absolutely no doubt who the company is targeting.
Ahoy Pirates and Stream-Rippers
TREBEL makes it clear that the people she wants on board aren’t currently paying for the music, either because they can’t or simply won’t. The company claims that this audience represents more than three billion listeners, most of whom use music pirating sites and apps, or platforms like YouTube – “both of which offer sub-optimal user experiences and a higher level of performance. unfair monetization for content owners.
With the word “hacking” appearing no less than 33 times in its SEC file, TREBEL says its goal is to eliminate the need for people to use hacking sites, apps, and mining platforms. flux. This is the goal of other streaming services as well, so how will TREBEL fare in areas where Spotify and YouTube have failed?
The business plan
First of all, it is not a shady operation to eliminate leads from questionable sources. TREBEL’s SEC filing reveals that the company is “backed by premium advertisers” and has “strong relationships” with the world’s largest record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, which together own 68% of the music. recording market.
TREBEL says it generates revenue in three ways: display ads, video and audio, in-app purchases, and brand experiences. Right now, the ad is the cash cow, something it has in common with the free tier of YouTube, but TREBEL believes it provides a much better experience by not disturbing the user.
Unique features aim to improve the user experience
For starters, TREBEL claims that its ads don’t disrupt users’ listening experiences because they only appear when activities other than playing music are engaged.
“TREBEL’s business model uses a well-established habit (in our user demographics) of finding, previewing, downloading, listing music, and then using those playlists to listen to their music offline,” it reads. in his file.
“TREBEL’s patented business model includes serving advertisements when the user engages with the TREBEL Music app in non-music listening activities, so that when the user listens to music, the experience listening is not normally interrupted by advertising. “
Although this is a big plus, TREBEL also has other advantages in its bag. Unlike its competitors, TREBEL offers free offline listening by allowing users to download songs to their devices for playback when they do not have an internet connection. There are also no track playback restrictions, which means that the shuffle mode is not mandatory.
Additionally, TREBEL does not require users to have their screens active while listening, meaning background playback can take place when screens are turned off or used for other tasks such as texting. or emails.
As part of its SEC filing, TREBEL lists its competitors and the order in which they appear is revealing. At the top, the company cites “digital piracy” as its main competitor, which makes sense since this is the industry in which it hopes to grow.
“Streaming is the illegal practice of creating a downloadable file from content available to stream online. In recent years, this has become the most prevalent form of online music copyright infringement, ”says TREBEL.
“While the exact scale and impact of digital piracy on our service is difficult to quantify, we believe that by providing a better user experience, we can successfully convert a significant number of feed extractors into TREBEL users. Music. “
Second place is YouTube and the countless third-party platforms and tools that use its services. TREBEL acknowledges that it does not have Google’s platform brand recognition and, according to its own data, is far from the library as it stands. However, TREBEL believes it can succeed by providing a better experience, especially when it comes to its uninterrupted and background playback features.
Finally, TREBEL is aimed at services like Spotify and Deezer. Once again, TREBEL believes it can offer a better service by offering features that these platforms do not. The free levels offered by its competitors do not offer offline listening, have restricted play and skip options, and interrupt users with ads.
“TREBEL solves these problems for users who cannot or do not want to pay for subscriptions,” the company notes.
While there are a lot of good things to say about TREBEL, it also has some significant shortcomings. At the moment, it has a library of 15 million songs, which is of course but nothing compared to its rivals.
Of more concern, however, is its ability to reach users looking to convert.
At the time of writing, TREBEL is only available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the US and Mexico, and the Huawei App Gallery in Mexico. This means (at least in ordinary terms) that users in all other regions will be denied access to the service.
The company says it has plans for international expansion starting with Canada, Brazil and other Latin American countries, but at the moment Europe and other regions are not mentioned. If TREBEL is to become a global name, this will need to be addressed.
Those who wish to test TREBEL can do so here. SEC filing here