Music IndustryTech

Musi is the free streaming music app invented by some teenagers from Winnipeg. It’s now facing scrutiny.

Back in 2016, Aaron Wojnowski and Christian Lunny, both 19, both from Winnipeg, appeared on Dragon’s Den to present an app they called Musi. It’s a music streaming app that’s free.

Today, Musi is usually in the top five when it comes to music streaming apps on Apple’s App Store. Despite being iOS only, estimates are that it’s been downloaded nearly 70 million times. That makes it more popular than Deezer and several other well-funded competitors. It was also the top-grossing iOS app in all of North America back in February. Its biggest user base is teens who don’t want to pay for any kind of music streaming–and they don’t want an app that’s always interrupting the music with commercials.

There’s more. Musi is super-hot in other parts of the world, including the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.

What’s going on? How is that possible?

  1. It’s not a very sophisticated interface, so not a lot of money has gone into the UI.
  2. Musi does not host music. It simply redirects what’s available on sites like YouTube and Vevo. They’re clearly identified with their original watermarks.
  3. There’s no download function. No internet, no music.
  4. Revenue comes from banner ads. If you want to get rid of those, there’s a one-time fee of $5.99.

However, Musi has now attracted the attention of record industry groups and record labels. They’d like more information on the app’s business model. Neither YouTube or Vevo have any licensing agreements with Musi (the company says that they’re merely linking to that content and both YouTube and Vevo have licenses.) And how much does an artist earn from a stream on Musi? It’s unclear.

Cue the lawyers.

Read more about Musi at Wired withe the article “Musi Won Over Millions. Is the Free Music Streaming App Too Good to be True?”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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