Jango.com is an online social music streaming site that allows users to build and maintain their own stations. Users can choose the artists and titles to be played on their stations, and can share their station or listen to other’s stations. The site features social networking aspects such as profiles, friends, and messages. The site features music from mainstream as well as independent artists. Jango charges independent artists for recommending their music alongside that of similar big name artists, and advertising provides revenue to pay the royalties on the mainstream music that users listen to.
Using the Jango service is easy. Typing in the name of an artist in the search bar will create a new station featuring that artist along with similar music. Users can then further edit the station to suit their own tastes. Music and stations can be browsed by genre or searched by keyword. The site features a browser-based player that is compatible with all Internet browsers. Links to songs can be shared, but songs cannot be downloaded from the site.
Jango.com was launched in 2008 by CEO Daniel Kaufman, CTO Chris Dowhan and CPO Matt Stanghed.
Competition to Jango comes from the mainstream music sites such as Itunes, and from more direct competitors that offer streaming music as opposed to music downloads. These sites include Pandora and Slacker. Pandora uses a software algorithm based on the Music Genome Project to recommend music to users. Slacker offers a service very similar to Jango, but does not have the social networking aspect.
The Jango site has a slightly cluttered look and feel. There are quite a few links shown on each page, and there is advertising displayed on the site, which can be somewhat obtrusive. The site is very responsive, with page loads happening quickly. Audio streaming is excellent -- the songs start quickly and play without gaps. Navigation is fairly intuitive, with a convenient top menu bar shown on all pages on the site. The tabs on the menu bar are Home (the user’s home page), Music (links to search or browse music and create stations) and People (links to social networking features).
Registration at the Jango site is free, and registered users have access to all of the features of the site. The registration process asks for email address, password, gender and date of birth. Validation of the email address is required to access all of the features on the site. Users can optionally add more information about themselves on their profile page.
Registration is free and there is no premium membership offered to the site.
The Jango site is recommended to music lovers looking for free streaming music to listen to. The site offers a pleasing mix of mainstream vs. independent music, and the player and station features work without problems. In addition, the ability to share stations, have friends and messages provides users the ability to center a social network around their taste in music. The site is also recommended to independent artists as a relatively inexpensive venue where their creations can receive playtime. Packages for independent artists start as low as $30 for 1,000 plays.