Stereotypes Music Messaging App: From Dreamit Ventures Into The Wild
Stereotypes is a music messaging app for iOS focused on building groups and sharing music as messages. I spoke last week with CEO Jason Keck about the experience of developing the app, incubating at Dreamit Ventures and plans to include features that will support marketing by musicians, music festivals and music bloggers.
Before Stereotypes became an iOS music app, it went through a phase as a web app that helped people find others with similar taste in music. That wasn't exciting users so when Co-founders Jason Keck and Eric Bogs spent three months in a tech incubator, Dreamit Ventures in Austin, they redeveloped the app for mobile with a focus on groups of friends sharing music.
An even earlier iteration featured psychological typing, not the winner they'd initially hoped, so it's not a surprise that a bit of a psychological edge remains in the product description from the above a now deleted video of their recent demo day presentation:
"Stereotypes has created a new way to communicate that uses music as a message, a reminder, a gift, or a hug, so you never lose touch with the friends you love. It helps you relive past memories as well as invent new ones using music, and it gives you the feeling of being together with your friends even when they are not around."
From Successful Careers to Business Building at an Incubator
Jason Keck and Eric Bogs bring a rich background in music and community tech to the development of Stereotypes. Among other accomplishments, Jason Keck was Head of Business Development at Shazam Entertainment and Eric Bogs was Senior Engineering Manager at Etsy.
I asked CEO Jason Keck about what it was like going from being a "responsible adult" to developing a business at a tech incubator. He said it was a great experience for them. Not only is it a way to cut through the noise of the tech world while meeting a broad range of people, he feels it's the quickest way to figure out what will make a product work.
Stereotypes: Sharing Music as a Message
The result is what they describe as a "music messaging app" but rather than sharing short text messages, users form groups and share music. Eventually messaging to the group will also be available, possibly followed by private messaging, but the focus now is around music as a message with commenting on individual songs.
The app is free and one can create as many groups and share as much music as one desires. Music is sourced from YouTube with Vevo and SoundCloud as future possibilities. Users can log in with Facebook and that offers a way to start building groups with friends. You can like and comment on music and build playlists in the process of sharing music.
Over the next couple of weeks they'll be completing what Keck described as a "three tier privacy model" for group owners:
Open Groups – anyone can join and share music
Public Groups – anyone can follow, listen and comment
Private Groups – members only as designated by the group owner
Marketing by Sharing Music
I've been among those who've suggested that music sharing apps and communities could provide a setting for music marketing. Keck explained that they intend to develop such possibilities based on sharing music in groups by artists and djs, music festivals and music bloggers.
Following as a separate option in Public Groups will soon be available for individual artists who might want to share music they like or to which their music relates in addition to their own tracks.
Open Groups will also be available soon and they are looking to work with music festivals who might want to start groups to connect people before and after the event, including those who can't attend. Such groups might focus on sharing music by musicians appearing at the festival.
Music bloggers will eventually find a home with an option along the lines of taking an RSS feed featuring posts with embedded music to feed a group. This is the furthest out on their timeline but could introduce a whole new level of listening for Stereotypes users.
I failed to ask Jason Keck about lean startup methodologies but it sounds like they're doing something along those lines by building a product, iterating it step by step and focusing on their users as a guide to future development.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.