MusiXmatch, the song lyrics database and accompanying desktop and mobile apps, has announced a further $3.7 million in funding, bringing the total raised by the UK/Italian company to $8.1m since it was founded in 2010. In what is effectively a follow-on round, the new capital comes from existing investors Micheli Associati, and Paolo Barberis, and is earmarked for expansion of the team, further product development, and the opening of new offices in New York and Asia.
Meanwhile, to coincide with today’s announcement, musiXmatch is putting out some decent numbers. Its apps, which let users search for and view lyrics matched to the music they are listening to, and are available on iOS, Android, Window Phone 7, Mac, Windows 8 and Spotify, have passed the 10 million user mark (quantified as app downloads, I’m told, not monthly users) with around 1 million downloads being added each month. Users of handsets running Google’s Android are leading the way, and the company says that iPhone numbers are also “growing exponentially”.
Drilling down further, this amounts to more than 40 million sessions per month, with last December setting a mobile record for musiXmatch of almost 400 million screen views. The majority of users are from the U.S., representing about 40% of traffic, while Asia, South Korea and Japan make up 30% — hence the company’s plans to set up a U.S. and Asia base, including plans to localise in Japanese and Korean. In Europe, the UK and Germany fare best. MusiXmatch also claims the number two app on Spotify, with more than 1.5 million hours of lyrics-synced music streamed in December.
Revenue is growing, too, I’m told, though the company won’t talk specifics. It makes money primarily through selling ads, along with licensing access to its API. However, premium app features in the pipeline may include caching lyrics for offline usage, the removal of ads, lyric syncing across multiple devices and virtual goods.
Moving forward, CEO and founder Max Ciociola tells me that the plan is to “scale up the product” and this will require an increase in the current head count of 20 engineers. Right now, the way many users enjoy the company’s apps is akin to a “karaoke experience”, whereby they sing along and read the lyrics while listing to music — an experience Ciociola says musiXmatch is uniquely positioned to offer because it has built the largest licensed lyrics database, combined with audio matching technology.
Building on this concept, he says that growth and product development points to the second screen, along with the television itself as the company moves “from an app to a service”.
“We want musiXmatch to be like MTV was in the past for music on TV. We’re working on pushing musiXmatch directly on TV. You will be able to mirror your mobile screen to your TV and enjoy the full experience of your music combined with syncronized lyrics, from your phone to your TV.”
How exactly this will translate into product, I’m told to expect more to be revealed at Mobile World Congress next month.