When an Argentinian news site tipped us off about a new streaming platform last month, first impressions were good.
Wefre (now defunct) was beautifully presented and managed to provide the user with a Spotify-like streaming service for free.
Admittedly lots of other sites try to do similar things but with all the artwork, albums, playlist features and embedded videos in one place, Wefre seemed pretty unique. However, following a tip from a reader it soon became evident that nothing could be further from the truth.
Instant music site
Although our tipster didn’t name it, TF was informed that Wefre was the product of a new script so we set about tracking it down. We eventually found it for sale on the CodeCanyon marketplace where it made its debut in November.
Called YouTubify (YouTube/Spotify combined), the script allows almost anyone to set up a free Spotify-like service with a minimum of fuss.
YouTubify – YouTube/Spotify Mashup Script
“Youtubify allows you to create your own music streaming website in minutes with no coding knowledge,” the sales pitch reads.
“It has an impressive feature set that rivals and even surpasses other biggest streaming services on the market.”
According to figures presented on CodeCanyon, YouTubify has been sold 310 times on that platform alone, which raises the possibility of there being hundreds of YouTubify ‘clone’ sites on the Internet today, Wefre being just one of them.
Indeed, further investigation revealed dozens of similar sites, all with their own style of presentation and color schemes and little addons here and there. But the fact remains that every single one was borne from exactly the same script costing just $38.00.
Aside from the fact that the script makes streaming site ownership so easy (potential legal issues aside, of course), for casual users there’s also the opportunity to look behind the scenes.
CodeCanyon provides a live demo of the platform in action and those logging in with the username: ‘[email protected]’ and the password: ‘admin’ can check out what it’s like to operate one of these sites from the inside.
While the admin panel could do with some tidying up, it looks very straightforward to use and even provides the user with an opportunity to monetize their site by injecting ads. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is the ‘coding’ equivalent of painting by numbers and is unlikely to bring any long-term reward for the experienced site operator.
But if instant music site ownership isn’t your thing, there other options too. The author of YouTubify also has some other products up his sleeve, a few of which are clearly aimed at the file-sharing market.
There’s BeDrive – a script while allows users to create their own file-sharing and cloud storage site “in minutes with no coding knowledge.”
Also available is MTDb, a similar script which in conjunction with another plug-in allows the creation of a “fully functional” movies and TV show streaming site. We haven’t tested it but that sounds like a pretty big claim. (demo here).
These products do appear interesting at first view but whether they will encourage innovation will remain to be seen. It has to be noted though that most private trackers started off life as a pre-made script but were then developed by their owners into something unique and in many cases extremely powerful.
This doesn’t feel like that kind of scenario to be honest, but stranger things have happened.