Wonder.fm is a hipster oasis. The new music site streams undiscovered, new releases straight from Soundcloud, then displays them on a beautiful interactive platform. It's radio for people who are too cool for radio, for people looking to discover new music that exists beyond the top 40.
"My hope is that music fans seeking cool sounds outside the top 40 might find it a really fun app," Founder Steven Phillips told Giga Om. Phillips is most famous for his creation of We Are Hunted, a music app that became the widely unpopular Twitter Music in 2013 before being shut down.
According to a report published by Nielsen, almost 50 percent of Americans find new music through the radio, so setting up wonder.fm so that it plays like a radio station users can curate and change could make it much more accessible to the majority of Americans than using something like Spotify radio. Unlike Rdio, which also plays music in a radio format, Wonder.fm will be drawing from the wealth of Soundcloud data.
Wonder.fm is only one site in the midst of a streaming revolution. Pandora recently added the Pandora Premieres station that plays pre-released albums, and Spotify acquired two companies in the last year to help improve listener experience. The hurdle for companies like Pandora and Spotify, though, is that more and more artists are releasing singles on Soundcloud instead of through iTunes or to other streaming services.
This is where wonder.fm has an edge. The site's Soundcloud data means the songs it pulls are edgier, newer, and decidedly not popular. Because the interface for wonder.fm is infinitely more beautiful than Soundcloud explore, it is easier to. I listened to wonder.fm for just 10 minutes before I found a new song to love: "First & Last" by Gemology.
That doesn't make wonder.fm perfect, though. At this point, the interface does not allow users to respond to songs by telling the site which songs they like and don't like (something like the Pandora rating system), but that could be part of the point. Wonder.fm is supposed to be like a radio station. You can't respond to a radio station; you can only change the channel.