Apps & Mobile

Snippit’s Mobile Social Network Combines Music Clips and Photos

Snippit-logoSnippit is a media sharing and social networking app for iOS that is worth considering for its integration of music. Users pair short clips from songs, up to 10 seconds long, with individual photos that are then displayed in a public stream. Links to iTunes for track sales are included. I spoke earlier this week with co-founders Joe Grano and Sam Jurist about Snippit and how it might help musicians.

Snippit is a nicely designed iOS app that allows you to take a sound clip from songs on your phone or from iTunes preview samples and pair them with a photo and caption for a quick statement.

My brief use of the app suggested that the main feed is the big draw, especially for those without a network of friends on Snippit. The short length of the audio clips makes the Snippit posts easy to consume.

The audio clips are on autoplay which normally would be a horrendously annoying choice. However given their brevity and the way the feed flows it actually ends up seeming integral to the app. Having to click on each audio clip can become a surprisingly powerful obstacle to users.

Snippit-feedI had initially gotten confused and thought of Snippit as a messaging app. Previous efforts of which I'm aware to make music messaging work have failed and I believe that's partly due to the somewhat bulky nature of using whole songs to communicate relatively brief messages.

Though Snippit is more of a Twitter-like public feed of posts mostly combining pics and audio clips, Sam Jurist and Joe Grano did agree that whole songs are too awkward for quick browsing as entertainment.

Focusing on brief clips allows Snippit to claim fair use but they're also trying to find ways to support musicians. Linking out to iTunes is one way they're doing that.

They also feel that musicians will be able to use Snippit to promote as they would on other social media platforms. And though Snippit's feed is currently only available via the mobile app, individual posts can be linked to and shared on the web.

We discussed marketing possibilities, such as encouraging fans to create the best post using a particular song or clip. Certainly contests and the like have worked well on such platforms, especially in the early days, but the draw for musicians will ultimately become strongest if a vibrant community emerges.

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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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4 Comments

  1. You do realize that this entire app is one giant ball of copyright infringement and violations of terms. You can’t take Apple’s previews and you can’t post these clips under fair use or without a license…and if you read their terms of use they are basically claiming they are not responsible for what people post, although they enable it…and then they expect to make rights holders jump through the DMCA hoops to get the stuff down.
    More evidence that the tech industry has come unhinged from reality and doesn’t care at all about doing what’s right.

  2. And btw…this is a music site right? How is it you can write:
    “Focusing on brief clips allows Snippit to claim fair use”
    and not know that this is not what fair use says? Snippit is pulling preview tracks from Apple to allow people to create new content from clips of songs, which is a direct violation of copyright and then if you read their “copyright policy”, they basically try to say they aren’t responsible for what anyone does…but then have the gaul to say:
    Snippit Media, Inc. (“Snippit” or “our” or “we” or “us”) supports the protection of intellectual property rights. We respond to all notices of alleged copyright infringement (“Takedown Notices”) provided to our designated Copyright Agent (“Designated Agent”) that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Section 512 of the DMCA outlines the requirements for submitting a Takedown Notice and, in appropriate circumstances, a counter notification (“Counter-Notice”).
    So they allow people to infringe on copyright, make users liable for doing it, then make rights holders jump through DMCA hoops to get it pulled. Tell me how they don’t know this isn’t kosher and why you are giving them exposure?

  3. I would assume, and this is just me talking out of my internet rectum, that these guys would have consulted a team of legal advisors who would have thoroughly sessed this out.
    To boot, do you believe that Apple would host an app that would allow the exploitation of these music tracks onto their app store? Is there not a vetting process that all apps must under go, adhering to strict rules and guidelines?
    Just random thoughts. Either way, Im a fan of the app. I enjoy the idea of music first, pictures second.

  4. You can consult lawyers all day to skirt the law, but doesn’t mean it is legal or in the spirit of the law. Short clips have nothing to do with fair use. I’ve also read the apps terms of use…it essentially says…here’s all this music, but we’re not responsible if you get caught with it…go read the copyright notice on their site:
    http://www.getsnippit.com/copyright
    It’s entirely setup to create a nightmare DMCA process for rights holders. This is a way of getting access to songs they don’t have a license for or can grant a license for and they know this.
    And as for Apple…just because the app got through the approval process doesn’t mean it isn’t a) in violation of Apple’s terms and b) isn’t violation of copyright, thus putting Apple also in a difficult position. Not every app approval person is likely schooled in copyright.
    I know for a fact this is not kosher with Apple’s terms…it even is a violation by the button they use for buying tracks on iTunes.
    I agree…it’s a cool app…it’s just not legal and you can’t just print in an article that the reason they can do this is short clips = fair use. That’s not what fair use states.

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