CASE STUDY

Boombox Creates Pitch-Perfect Music Platform with Wasabi Storage

Tue Dec 12 2023By Ben Bonadies

Boombox is a music creation and collaboration platform where musicians can store, share, and remotely edit their tracks. The service combines cloud storage with time-stamped comments, task management, and other features that are typically spread across different environments.  

“Music production is a very iterative process,” said Jordan Schneider, Head of Marketing for Boombox. “But there’s nothing out there built specifically for the music industry to collaborate.” 

Schneider said that artists are mostly uploading to Google Drive or Dropbox when they share their work, or creating massive email or text threads with versions of songs going back and forth. “It becomes chaotic really, really fast,” Schneider said. “We can give artists and music studios a simple way to collaborate on their mixes and ensure everyone has a chance to easily express themselves.” 

Challenge: Build a Platform with Cost-Effective Storage for Musicians to Easily Collaborate  

What goes into making chart-topping, hit songs? Creativity, collaboration — and storage. Lots and lots of storage. Boombox and its customers have to pay for all that storage, retrieving data from the cloud, and sending file transfers. “We were using Amazon S3, and it became very clear that that was not going to scale well for us,” Schneider said. “We were saying to ourselves, ‘We’ll be offering a laughably small amount of storage to these producers if we’re going to price match Dropbox or Google Drive.’” 

Charging their customers egress fees every time they use their data was a non-starter for the company.  

“We would have to sell almost all of our plans at a loss, not because storage is expensive on S3, but egress is,” added Max Mathieu, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Boombox. “We looked at our model, where someone might upload a terabyte of data and then share some of that with others….every time someone tries to play or download the file, that’s going to cost us.” 

Boombox considered scalability, as well. The company wants to offer their users room to grow into their storage, which is essential for user retention. “There's a psychological phenomenon that happens, where even if you don't necessarily need a full terabyte and you'd be fine with 150 gigs, you're still going to think, ‘I can't grow with this software like I could with one of these other providers,’” Schneider said. 

“Switching our storage to Wasabi has been transformational. Without Wasabi, we would be a completely different company.”

– Jordan Schneider, Head of Marketing, Boombox

“And furthermore, we're trying to get people to switch over their workflows to us,” he added. “So our storage and sharing capabilities have to be even more compelling, because there's always going to be a learning curve with something new.”  

The financial realities of data egress were causing the Boombox team to reconsider their service offering. Their options were either disallow downloads from their service or operate on a massive loss. “Egress blocked us from offering a competitively-priced product,” Mathieu said. 

Boombox commenced a comprehensive search for an affordable and scalable cloud storage solution, Schneider said. “As soon as we found Wasabi we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and said, ‘Oh, my God, this is going to work.’”  

Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage Solution with No Egress Fees is the Right Mix    

Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage with its single tier of high-quality storage and no egress fees aligned with the company’s needs. “Egress could not be part of the equation. This way, we can focus on building the right UX,” Mathieu said.” Wasabi became Boombox’s primary storage provider for all their customers’ data. Uploads from their customers land on Wasabi’s storage service where they can be accessed again and again at no additional cost to Boombox or the user.  

The company wanted to ensure all the files an artist or studio needed would be usable the instant they were needed. “One song averages four or five collaborators,” Mathieu said. The core of Boombox’s service relies on instant access to files as soon as they are uploaded, becoming the place around which discussion and iteration can take place. “Our platform puts all those files at their fingertips, and Wasabi helps make that seamless.” 

No Egress: A Bridge for Troubled Waters  

Making all of the elements of all of these songs playable by their entire community was looking to be an egress nightmare for Boombox. Explaining the intricacies of data egress to musicians who just want to work on their songs isn’t much of a customer experience either, Schneider said. Wasabi’s simple service offering makes storage easy to understand for all users. “All we have to show them is what it costs to store their projects with us. It gives producers and musicians a clean, easy entry point to get a feel for our platform before deciding whether they need that bigger plan.” 

Storage Performance Hits All the Right Notes 

Performance and reliability were also key concerns for Boombox. As a startup, it was important to choose a storage service that would instill trust in their users. Files should be accessible quickly, without any service disruptions. Any changes to the service would impact Boombox’s reputation, so their chosen storage service needed to be rock-solid, and fast. “That’s why Wasabi has been a great fit: the storage infrastructure is really reliable,” Schneider said. “We’ve had really zero bugs to speak of on the platform. That’s been huge.” 

Unlocked Potential for Boombox and its Customers 

Integrating Wasabi storage helped Boombox launch a more robust platform faster, and kept it affordable enough that creators at every level of the music business could use it. 

“The independent musician community is massive, but most of them are not earning a huge living,” Schneider said. “They're making money off of their streams. They might make some money off of touring, but every dollar every month counts to them.” Without the low-cost storage solution, “it would be completely different,” Schneider said. They would have had to shift their focus to only the most profitable studios, leaving out the independent musicians the team was creating for. 

Wasabi’s support of all of Boombox's storage needs for musicians has been transformative for their workflow tool, Schneider said. “Wasabi makes our product possible.”  

What’s Next for Boombox? 

Boombox now is rolling out a new plan priced cheaper than a cup of coffee. “It’s 100 gigabytes at $2.99; I think musicians and independent artists will be appreciative of that,” Schneider said. “We couldn’t do that without Wasabi.” The platform is revamping its file and folder structure so customers can organize their projects however they’re used to when they’re working in their own storage drives, as well.  

The Wasabi cost structure is key to Boombox’s expansion. “Saving on egress fees gives us the bandwidth to introduce some new features,” Schneider said. Boombox is aiming to be a one-stop destination for music creators, a place where they can hire producers and engineers to master their tracks and even distribute their music onto streaming services. “We’re really excited about that.” 

Ultimately, it’s the sense of partnership between Boombox and Wasabi that carries the strongest tune. “That’s part of the relationship I was talking about early on,” Matheiu said. “We don’t want this to be a vendor/customer interaction; we align on a lot of values, and you clearly want us to succeed. We’re happy to be a Wasabi customer.” 

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