Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Guvera is a music streaming service you probably haven’t heard of, but it’s been around for some time. It was launched in Australia in 2008, and subsequently in the US and Indonesia. Now, it has expanded into Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines as it seeks to compete against services like Spotify and Deezer.
It is probably a challenge of mammoth proportions for Guvera to gain a standing in the region, but a partnership inked with Lenovo in March could help it raise its profile. The deal will see Guvera pre-installed on Lenovo’s mobile devices — and the smartphone manufacturer has a presence in 160 countries.
What makes Guvera particularly unique is the use of hashtags. These tags can be used specifically by users in relation to moods and genres to find what kind of music they’d like to listen to on the service. To be honest, they weren’t the most accurate selectors when I tried them out, but at least it could give you an idea of what sort of music you may like to listen to.
Additionally, a Guvera spokesperson says that the service is “programmed globally but tuned locally” with an emphasis on locally relevant music. Its ad-funded model also gives brands and advertisers a way to match relevant ads to the end user through certain algorithms.
Those two ways, however, are also approaches being taken by competitors including Spotify. The company has always emphasized tie-ups with local artists, and with its recent purchase of music data platform The Echo Nest, Spotify’s head of Asia told TNW previously that it would also help improve targeting in its ads business.
Guvera has an ad-funded tier that offers users unlimited access to shuffled playlists for free on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. Its platinum offering costs A$11.99 (US$11.30) per month and gives users on-demand music without ads.
The winner in this case is definitely consumers though — Guvera’s arrival on the scene gives music lovers even more choice and helps to further raise the profile of this legal option compared to pirated music downloads.
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