TheBizmo is a new ‘online music store in a widget’ which is being launched by UK firm UGC Ltd in partnership with London-based investment and advisory firm Ariadne Capital. Essentially it is an embeddable Flash media player (or widget) complete with a store. Since it does not operate a full-blown portal, the store is effectively wherever the widget is, allowing fans and bands to sell and recommend music across the Web. Content may be music, video, animations, pictures, podcasts or videocasts.
Created by GrooveMobile, and marketed via the UK vehicle of UGC Ltd [UPDATE: I got this wrong, Groove Mobile is not involved, TheBizmo just has some ex-Groove people]. TheBizmo business secured investment from Northzone Ventures, East Coast Angels, and Burda Digital in autumn 2007. Early UK partners for TheBizmo include promoters FeedMeMusic which sells E-Tickets via the widget.
However, although Julie Meyer, CEO of Ariadne Capital says today that “TheBizmo is the biggest step change in music since iTunes” I’d have to politely disagree. Although the widgetisation of media continues apace, one widget does not a revolution make. And any music portal/distributor, like UK competitor 7digital, can easily create a widget of their own. Then again, TheBizmo does catch the wave that is social networking – the perfect platform for the redistribution of widgets – but it will have to get its skates on and release a Facebook application if it wants to do well in the Facebook-obssessed UK.
And for any bands out there, I had a quick check of TheBizmo’s T&Cs which reassuringly state “you retain all of your ownership rights in your content.”