Even as we hear about Snapchat expanding the ways content can be shared on their network, there are still certain content types that are missing from the messaging app and also from other platforms like Instagram.
CEO Rhai Goburdhun and his team of four other co-founders noticed this gap and created SOUNDS to alleviate the missing format. SOUNDS is an app that allows you to share 15-second snippets of music to both Instagram and, as of last week, Snapchat.
Born out of a previous project he and his team were working on called Vimies, SOUNDS identified the key insight that many people on both of these social networks wanted to share music—just music, all by itself—but the platforms only supported video or image formats.
In fact, Rhai’s research showed that people were actually attempting to share music on these two platforms anyway and were shooting smartphone videos, while listening to specific songs on their computer, and then either covering the camera lens with their fingers or else holding the camera in front of the album art on their computer.
So, armed with this insight, the team created SOUNDS. The app will connect to many different audio networks via API (Spotify, SoundCloud, iTunes), allow you to search for music artists, and then the app will grab the album art and a sample of the song. Using the app’s audio scrubber, you can select from which part of the song to take your 15-second sample.
Then the app compiles that and shares it as an audio file. (Okay, technically it’s still a video file, but it is formatted in a way to play as a simple audio file).
In the future, you might be able to somehow link out to the actual songs to purchase in some kind of affiliate model, but for now it’s really just about sharing song snippets within these two networks and eventually other networks, too.
According to Rhai, they have 130K users and had about 60K active monthly users in January so far. In addition to regular consumers and sharers, apparently many artists are starting to use SOUNDS to share their own music and inspire users to purchase or download the full length—a sort of teaser advertising model.
Some record labels, like the French label Ed Banger, are already using SOUNDS to share and advertise artists’ music, and SOUNDS is also, according to Rhai, in discussions with Universal Music group about using the software to share and promote their artists on Instagram. Interesting.
Additionally, the team, led by CTO Nicolas Chrysanthos, is in the process of developing a recommendation engine called “ALREDIS” in order to steer you to other SOUNDS samples based on the ones you have liked. They are beta testing this now. While I can’t imagine a world in which I’d want to send a snippet of Milli Vanilli to my loved ones, clearly it exists. Girl (and boy) you know it’s true.