Canadian Startup Groove Challenges Songza for Top Free Music App, Gains 85,000 Downloads in a Day

Montreal-based music re-discovery app Groove skyrocketed to the number two free music app for iPads in Canada after surpassing 85,000 downloads in one day.

The news came after the current FounderFuel accelerator team moved to a free model.

“We felt that we had something that was pretty good,” Cofounder Tri Nguyen told Techvibes. “It gained a lot of interest and we’re very satisfied with the type of visibility we got.”

Compatible with iOS and Windows 8, Groove studies its user’s listening habits and creates a wide variety of instant mixes, like a personal DJ. The app learns and adapts based on user responses to song offerings, allowing them to re-discover music they enjoy.

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After joining Montreal-based accelerator FounderFuel’s latest cohort Groove got off to a quick start when their total downloads surpassed one million in early May. Then the app was still $3.99, but the team quickly moved to a freemium model in select countries. Now users anywhere in the world can add the handy tool to their smartphones for nothing.

Working just a floor above Groove in FounderFuel’s headquarters of Notman House, The Transit App made headlines earlier this month when it was downloaded over 35,000 times in three days. This cohort of teams in the Montreal accelerator have been proving themselves. It will be known to what extent when all nine teams hit the stage on July 11 for FounderFuel’s Demo Day.



With a proven product that users have been positively responding to, Groove is trying to appeal to the masses now. Not surprisingly, Nguyen said Thursday’s move to a completely free model reflected their priority of building their community. “We want to build the community rather than the commodity,” he said. “For us it’s about growing and making sure that we have engaged users who use our app and love it.”

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The team recently unveiled a new feature called “Groove with Friends,” whereby an algorithm in the app combines data from two users’ music playlists and intelligently select songs that appeal to both users. Whether users are on a road trip or they’re having someone over for dinner, the app can create a mix inspired from friends.

“If you don’t know what music to play, so it combines your musical tastes so it creates a mix that both of you can enjoy.” Nguyen calls it a “social listening centre.”

Despite the impressive traction, the team still feels that what it is trying to accomplish is far from over. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us but it’s really just the start and there’s a lot of opportunity to build our community to be more social as well,” said Nguyen. “Now we have the framework and the foundation to know how to grow a business as opposed to just growing an app.”