In an attempt to get in on the short video-sharing craze, MusiXmatch, the song lyrics database and maker of accompanying lyric-viewing mobile apps, has released a new app called Clip. Debuting on iOS first, with an Android version to follow shortly, it lets you create (up to) 20-second videos, sync them to a track, and — if available — overlay the song’s lyrics.
“Lyrics are all about feelings, memories and emotions. They remind us of something and we all connect some songs to our life. We wanted to have an easy way for doing that,” says MusiXmatch CEO and co-founder Max Ciociola when I ask him the inspiration behind Clip.
“If I make a video with Morcheeba’s track ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, showing lyrics too, that’s a message. Not only a video. We think the combination of those elements can be very powerful,” he adds.
The way the app works is as follows: You simply search for a song that you wish to become the soundtrack for your 20 second video or choose one from your phone’s music library. You then hold down the record button to film your video, either continuously or in parts, Vine-style. Then, presuming the song’s lyrics can be found in MusiXmatch’s database, they become overlaid on the resulting video, from which you can adjust the font and colour. You’re then free to post your video to the Clip app itself and optionally share on social networks.
In some ways Clip plays in the same space as Russian music video re-mixing startup Coub, but with the added visual and communication element that overlaying lyrics affords. That’s made possible, in part, due to MusixMatch’s fully licensed lyrics catalog, which now claims to house 9.3 million lyrics in 39 languages. In addition to Coub, there are also behemoths like Facebook-owned Instagram and Twitter-owned Vine.
“We look at Instagram and Vine much more as distributors than competitors,” says Ciociola. “You will be able to share your Clips there, too. But we expect users and creators to use Clip as mainly a tool for creating awesome video. It’s too early to talk about competitors. We need to see how it scales.”
To that end, Ciociola says it’s also too soon to talk about ways Clip might be monetised. “We want to see engagement first and see how it gets viral. You know better than me that it’s all about product product product first,” he says.
Meanwhile, the company’s latest metrics point to over 30 million downloads of the main MusiXmatch iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps, and 10 million monthly active users. Interestingly, the startup recently revamped its website to launch what can only be described as a Genius competitor, letting users congregate to discuss the meaning of song lyrics, as well as search, amend and translate existing lyrics and add new ones to MusixMatch’s catalogue.