“In the 1940s the jukebox revolutionised music listening… Electric Jukebox brings the music back where we can all share it – our homes.”
Electric Jukebox is the new device co-created by Rob Lewis, founder of Omnifone, designed to be a “plug-and-play” music player for the everyday listener. It works similarly to Google’s Chromecast devices as an extension plugged into your television, but it does things a little differently aiming to appeal to a mainstream audience.
Electric Jukebox is designed to be much simpler than existing streaming systems like Sonos,which use external sources to play music. Electric Jukebox comes as an all in one product with a years subscription to it’s exclusive streaming service, providing access to “millions of albums and singles, from the earliest recordings to this week’s top releases, on your TV in CD quality.”
Music streaming mogul Rob Lewis says: “I’m not after the Spotify customer, I’m after everyone else.” It’s easy to forget, as music streaming becomes commonplace in many of our lives, that there are many people out there who are still oblivious or not interested in the variety of music streaming options out there. For a lot of people who have never streamed music it can be intimidating, especially for the less tech-savvy.
With Electric Jukebox the setup is as easy as connecting it’s HDMI output to your TV. You then control it entirely using a remote control with gesture control and Voice Search that lets you explore and play any music you want just by saying it’s name. Once you’ve found the music you want you can favourite it for easy access in the future, you can also discover Mixtapes and channels, including curated playlists from Robbie Williams, Stephen Fry, Alesha Dixon, Sheryl Crow and more.
Rob Lewis says that the idea came once upon a Christmas, when he and his brother had bought a Sonos and Spotify subscription for their parents. As the reality of his parents trying to use a device with a somewhat confusing setup sank in, Lewis realised he “would have to provide technical support – that was the lightbulb moment.”
“I set the team a challenge. Can we make something that comes in a box, affordable for most people, open the box, and two minutes later you’ve got a jukebox with all the world’s music.” With no external device required to play music Lewis hopes that this will bring in audiences who have so far been excluded from the streaming revolution.
For those concerned about listening to music solely through your TV (as not all of us can afford a hi-fi surround sound) there is the option to hook Electric Jukebox up to an external speaker using a 3.5mm line-out port. However there isn’t any output on the remote for headphones as Lewis feels it’s time to come back to listening to music as a collective, before the times of smartphones when music brought people together rather than separating them.
Perhaps where Electric Jukebox falls back is it’s price, which is £179/$229 with 12 months access to Jukebox’s library. Similar devices are available much cheaper but Lewis argues that those devices don’t come with a streaming subscription and that research shows the average British family are likely to see the appeal in a one-off payment rather than a monthly subscription (though after the first year there is a £60/$60 yearly fee).
You can currently get the Jukebox at a special price to celebrate it’s pre-launch from: www.electricjukebox.com/pre-order/. The offer is running until Midnight 21st October.