One of the most interesting trends we’ve seen this year is people adding context around songs and then sharing them with each other. It might sound obvious, but there really is a big difference between listening to a song and listening to a song that your friend shared with you specifically, for a specific reason, at a specific time.
As I put it on Monday, “Songs used to be discrete products from artists to fans; now they’re becoming more like temporary tattoos.”
Here’s another one to add to that trend. This one goes out to ShoutOut Radio, which is currently seeking $16,000 on Kickstarter to launch and market an app that will let people dedicate songs to their Facebook friends — first for iOS, and then for Android. The app will let you:
A) pick a song from the ones stored on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch — or choose from a cloud-based catalog of “millions of songs”;
B) choose one or more of your Facebook friends to whom the song will be dedicated, the way human beings in the not-so-distant past used to do with local radio stations; and
C) attach an optional text message to the song before it gets shared (an actual voice message would be a nice option too).
Whether your friends have the ShoutOut app or not, they’ll get the message, and will be able to play the song in limited form within the app or Facebook. Reich confirmed to Evolver.fm that the track will be limited to a 30- or 90-second sample, which is sort of a drag, but he says he’s working on a way to include full-track playback. Regardless, the app will be able to build an instant radio station around any song you “ShoutOut,” or the ones that are sent to you, and those will consist of full songs.
Reich expects to publish the ShoutOut Radio iOS app in iTunes in about three weeks. But if it’s already done, why does he need 16 grand? According to the Kickstarter page, the money will be spent on launching the app for iOS, building an Android version, and adding some new features (more on those below). In order to make it all happen, he wants to add another full-time app developer to the two who are already working on this.
In return for your pledge, you’ll receive stuff ranging from an email letting you know that the app is out, for a $1 donation, or all the way up to the ability to appear as an “angel investor” in the About Us section of the app; receive six hours of conversation from Reich about how to be an entrepreneur; embed your name and image as an “easter egg” within the app; get a bunch of branded merch; early access to future versions; and a handsome selection of 100 business cards. The package containing all of that stuff would run you a cool $2,500.
This is an unorthodox way to fund a commercial app, and we’re not quite sure whether this Kickstarter campaign is partially about marketing or not, but one thing is clear: The ShoutOut Radio app sounds pretty neat. Depending on how things go, future features could include Music ID technology, so you can dedicate songs right from the air around you, and SoundCloud integration.