Bloom.fm was a London-based mobile-focused music service which combined free streaming genre and artist based radios, music discovery tools, a local library player and a catalogue of over 22 million tracks. The service allowed users to 'borrow' songs, making them available for offline playback. The maximum number of stored tracks was determined by the subscription level.
Bloom was only available in the United Kingdom on iOS and Android. A Web version was supposedly in development and originally set for release at some point in 2013, but it was never made available to the general public. On the 30th of April 2014, The owners of Bloom.fm, Digital Distribution Networks, announced that they were to shut down, due to lack of funding.
Bloom.fm was officially launched in January 2013 on iOS, previously being available to several thousand beta testers. The service reached 250,000 registered users in August 2013.
The Android app was released in September 2013.
As of September 2013, approximately 22 million tracks were available on the service, including content from EMI, Sony, Universal, and Merlin (representing over 120,000 independent labels) and various independent labels through aggregators such as TuneCore, IODA, The Orchard, PIAS, AWAL, Ditto, and CD Baby.
Warner Music was the only major label not to have licensed its content to the service.
The free tier of the service offered over 150 genre-based radios. Additionally, users were able to start a new radio based on most artists on the service.
Bloom.fm referred to the process of caching the track on a device as ‘borrowing’. This allowed offline playback. The tracks were available to a user for the duration of the subscription.
The artist discovery interface allowed the user to explore related artists by tapping the icon in the bottom left of the player.
Playlists of two types were available to all paying consumers. Normal playlists were created by manually adding borrowed tracks to them and smart playlists were created automatically by borrowing tracks from the predefined radio channels.
The application supported integration and playback of local music libraries. This feature was available for free on all tiers. The company expressed a desire for the app to become the default music player for all users.
The service offered a free tier (Bloom Zero) that gave the user access to streaming genre radio channels as well as artist-based radios.
The service was noted for a low entry price point. The subscription tiers determine the number of tracks the users could store on their devices simultaneously. The entry-level £1 subscription allowed the user to borrow and store 20 tracks, the £5 tier had an allowance of 200 tracks and the £10 subscription allowed unlimited streaming and borrowing.
Notably, the subscription prices were different on the website of the service and Apple’s App Store. The company explained the higher prices in the App Store by stating that Apple took a 30% cut of in-app purchases.
According to CEO Oleg Fomenko, several other versions were in active development, including dedicated iPad and web apps.
Bloom.fm allowed the user to use their Facebook account to log in to the app. Tracks could be shared to Twitter and Facebook with an option to share via email.
The service also supported scrobbling to Last.fm on the iPhone app.
The company partnered with music events in the UK, including The Liverpool Sound City, Tramlines Festival, and Toddla T Sound.
On the 30th of April 2014, Bloom.fm announced on their blog that their main investor, TNT Media Investments, had pulled out. On May the 2nd, administrators Moorfields Corporate Recovery published a Press Release urging for the sale of Bloom.fm by the 9th of May, however no sale was finalised. Operations were ceased in the following days, which were managed by Moorfields. After the administration, Bloom.fm offered users access to Tesco's Blinkbox.