Rules and Instructions

What is Boombox?

Boombox is a social music discovery app that enables friends to compete in a music selection contest. In each round of the competition, your group submits a song that matches a given theme and then votes for the best songs. Listening is done in Spotify – Boombox will automatically create a playlist for each round. A competition typically runs over 6 rounds and is played by 5-20 friends at a time. The player with the most votes after all rounds have completed is the winner. 

To play Boombox, you need:

  1. The Boombox App from the App Store or Google Play Store
  2. A Spotify account (free or premium).
  3. An Internet connection. The app will not work offline. 

Getting Started:

After installing the Boombox app, you have two options:

  1. Join an existing contest – if you were invited by a friend.
  2. Start a new contest and invite friends to join you.

Joining an existing Competition:

  1. Go to the Competitions menu.
  2. Press the purple plus button.
  3. Choose join existing competition.
  4. Enter the competition ID number provided to you by your friend.

Creating a New Competition:

  1. Go to the Competitions menu. 
  2. Press the purple plus button.
  3. Choose Create New Competition.
  4. Follow the instructions – we recommend you choose the default options for your first one.
  5. Once you’ve created the competition, choose invite friends and text the link to join.

Number of Players

You can play Boombox with 3-20 people. 10 is ideal. With smaller groups, if you use default options, Boombox will automatically increase the number of songs submitted by each person so there’s enough music to listen to each round.

Choosing Themes

Each Round will have a given theme (e.g. Driving songs, Drinking songs, etc) that your submitted song should match. Before the competition kicks off, players will have the opportunity to submit their suggested themes and vote on their favorite choices. 

Playing Boombox

Once themes are chosen, the competition starts. A competition is made up of multiple Rounds where you’ll: 1) submit songs and 2) vote on songs. The player with the most votes for their song will win a round. The player with most cumulative votes after all rounds are complete wins the game.

Submission and Voting Deadlines

In each round you need to submit your song and vote on friend’s songs. If you allowed Boombox to send you notifications, you will receive a notification when each of these deadlines is approaching. The number of days for song submission and voting phases will be set by your Contest creator. You can see these the competition details screen of the app. Important – keep track of these deadlines, if you miss it, you will forfeit all votes for the round.

How to Vote

Once the submission deadline has passed, it’s time to listen and vote. Press the Listen button to listen to the Spotify playlist that Boombox has created for the round. Here’s what you need to know about voting:

  1. There are three different types of votes: up votes, down votes and discovery votes. All contests will have upvotes but may not always include the others. Use upvotes to Vote for the song you liked the most but also that best matches the theme. Down vote the song you disliked the most or that did not match the theme. Give your discovery vote to the song that you liked but haven’t heard before. If you’ve heard them all, give it to the boldest or most unexpected song. The objective of the discovery vote is to promote players taking risks by introducing new songs vs. old favorites.
  2. The number of votes per player will be set by the Contest Creator. Give all your votes to one song or distribute them as you wish.
  3. Some vote types may be set to Optional by the Contest Creator. You can choose to use these or ignore optional votes. 
  4. You cannot vote for your own song.
  5. If you miss the voting deadline, you will get no points for the round.


The value of each vote type is set by the Contest Creator. By default, upvotes are worth one point, downvotes minus 1 and discovery votes are plus one. Again, your Contest Admin can choose to override these defaults so check the Contest Rules to be sure. 

How to Win

Get more votes than any other player to win. Each round will have a winner but votes are cumulative from Round to Round. The player who gets the most votes over all rounds wins.

Communicating with Fellow Players

A recommended best practice is to create a chat group in iMessage or your favorite chat app to communicate with fellow players during the game. Chat groups enhance the game experience and also can be used as to nudge players to meet song submission and voting deadlines.