After the curtain call — An Encore!
We are thrilled to announce that 8tracks will resume streaming from its website, effective immediately.
TL;DR: The 8tracks platform & brand are now owned & operated by BackBeat Inc., a new startup which acquired a portion of 8tracks’ assets during its wind-down earlier this year.
While certain music will not be available due to licensing restrictions, most existing playlists will be available to stream, beginning today.
If you still have the iOS app on your device, it will work out of the box. Otherwise, we’ll be re-introducing the 8tracks mobile apps and playlist creation (and perhaps a few new surprises) in the months ahead.
8tracks has always been about its community — music lovers who carefully curate playlists, tell a story through the thoughtful selection of music and art, share personal moments and perspectives.
The community is also a wide-eyed collective of listeners, hopeful and looking to find inspiration through music and connections with like-minded fans.
Four years ago, 8tracks even raised funding from this community in a pioneering crowdfunding round, allowing listeners and DJs to own a stake in the company.
We hope you see it is only fitting, then, that a few of us from the community have banded together to bring 8tracks back after its effective shutdown on New Year’s Eve.
What is backbeat?
We are some of 8tracks’ biggest fans.
We raised an angel round and formed a new entity – called BackBeat Inc. – that won a bid to acquire certain assets in 8tracks’ wind-down process, called an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, or “ABC” for short (similar to a bankruptcy proceeding).
We intend to continue to operate the 8tracks brand and build upon the service. Over time we will add new features and integrations, making 8tracks the best destination and community for amazing, handcrafted playlists, music discovery and finding just the right music for a particular moment.
Our team has decades of combined experience launching, running and growing online businesses. We look forward to interacting with you – and to your feedback – as we seek to restore 8tracks to its former heights. Our plan is simple:
- Turn streaming back on
- Re-initiate ad-supported free listening and 8tracks+ subscriptions for ad-free listening
- Conservatively manage royalties.
- Conservatively manage payroll (our engineering team is distributed, so we benefit from a much lower cost of living vis-a-vis San Francisco)
- Reinvest income into improving the listener and DJ experience, our underlying technology, catalog depth and geographic accessibility
- Launch new integrations (smart speakers, mobile platforms)
Here’s the deal
We face some initial constraints in bringing 8tracks back to the full experience we know and love. This will be a phased launch.
First, new mix creation will be disabled until we’ve a larger catalog of music available for DJs through direct licensing deals with labels. This is unavoidable at launch, as music licensing deals aren’t transferable in an acquisition of assets. While BackBeat will need to renegotiate these deals over time, we are already actively working on this.
Second, due to licensing restrictions, some tracks on public playlists will be automatically skipped. Playlists with too many of these skipped tracks have been temporarily unpublished. The DJs who created these playlists can still listen to them and will be able edit them once mix creation is reinstated. The good news is the vast majority of current 8tracks playlists are available to stream.
Third, our iOS app is still awaiting approval by Apple. Due to COVID-19 workplace disruptions, these approvals are taking longer than usual. If the app is rejected for any reason, additional delays may result. We don’t have a hard date for the app’s return to the App Store, but we will announce when the iOS app is back.
Finally, the Android app cannot be resubmitted to Google Play as it was built on an older framework that’s no longer supported. Accordingly, our only option is to rebuild the app from scratch. This will also take time, as our team is getting up to speed on an old code base. But the new app will be far better, and Android users will soon be able to enjoy 8tracks properly once again.
So, for now, it’s all about the website, with a few limitations. We hope you will agree, though, that getting up and running – even if not perfect – is better than spending another day in quarantine without 8tracks!
did you miss us?
If so, your continued support would be greatly appreciated.
Please come back to listen. Often if you can! 🙂
And please share us with your friends. So many are suffering right now, fighting for health, caring for others, trying to make ends meet, feeling isolated and bored and exhausted. While 8tracks can’t solve it all, it can provide some music and connections that help, in small ways and sometimes more.
If you haven’t in the past, consider purchasing a subscription to 8tracks Plus, which will be open for new subscriptions starting Monday, April 20, at 5pm PT.
So you were already a subscriber?
Every paying subscriber as of December 31, 2019 will receive extended access to 8tracks Plus for the amount of remaining time you should have received on your originally purchased subscription plan. We have a formula for this and it will be automatically applied to your account.
Following this period, a renewal fee will be charged as it normally would. Of course – and as always – you can cancel in advance anytime through your 8tracks account dashboard.
Rest assured, we are also offering 100% guaranteed refunds for anyone that is charged a renewal starting next week and does not have the ability or desire to pay. Simply reach out to email@example.com.
David Porter, Remi Gabillet, Matthew Cieplak, Ann Sandoval and Chris Jenkins from the previous 8tracks team have been incredibly supportive in transitioning the company’s assets and know-how to the new BackBeat team. In our review of the code and documentation, it’s painfully obvious how much love and dedication they poured into 8tracks over the past 12+ years.
We thank them for building such an incredible product and community. We wish them well in their future endeavors.
Please feel free to email us anytime with ideas, feedback or questions. We want to make 8tracks the best it can be, and your input is invaluable in pursuit of this goal.