Apps, Mobile & SMS

How To Get Millions Of People To Download and Use Your Music App

Prerna-guptaAs Co-founder and CEO of Khush, Prerna Gupta led the company to a huge success with mobile music apps such as LaDIDa and Songify before they were acquired by Smule. She then went on to lead product development and marketing at Smule with the understanding that products that sell themselves have marketing built into them. Recently she shared a few tips for building an app that sells itself.

Prerna Gupta was Co-founder and CEO of Khush, which achieved great success with music apps and then was acquired by Smule where she served for a time as Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.

In "When a Product Sells Itself: How I Got Millions of People to Download My App" Prerna Gupta shares some of the secrets of creating a successful music app from early research to becoming best-in-class.

Building An App That Sells Itself

"Pay close attention to what gets people excited about your idea,
and build on that."

Gupta advocates a "pitching" process that basically involves presenting your idea with a mockup or demo to absolutely everyone you can to get reactions.

Do they get it right away? Are they confused? Are they excited?

Gupta says she first pitched LaDIDa as a "reverse karaoke" app with a demo video featuring her singing with a nice voice. The app then created music for her singing.

People were intrigued by the concept but didn't rush to try it. Eventually Khush figured out that folks were embarassed by their bad singing and so they added vocal effects to improve users' voices and released a humorous video of an awful singer who can illustrate the difference between before and after.

It hit the right note, downloads picked up and reached over a million installs for the year.

Hook your users and they'll spread the word.

Gupta feels their primary advertising tool was word-of-mouth. But to get users excited and spreading the word you not only have to get them to download your app but you also "have to hook them in the first 10 seconds."

With their next app, Songify, Khush had a "laser-like focus on the 10-second experience. We wanted it to be super-intuitive for anyone who picked up the app, from a 2-year old to a 92-year old anywhere in the world, and to elicit the universal emotion of laughter."

Songify went on to take #1 most downloaded app on iTunes its first week and have 4 million installs in its first month.

Be the best at one thing.

Instead of creating a Swiss Army Knife app Gupta says to "define the one thing your product does better than everyone else, and nail it."

She describes Smule, who acquired Khush, as focusing "relentlessly" on making each app the "best-in-class" in its vertical.

This approach will make all your marketing efforts easier "because you’ll be able to describe what your product does, and why it’s so awesome, much more clearly."


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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