An endorsement from Stephen Fry and Apple founder Steve Wozniak was music to the ears of Irish company Soundwave, which launched its social music app yesterday.
Corkman Aidan Sliney, schooled in Midleton CBS and a computer science graduate from University College Cork, co-founded the company with Brendan O’Driscoll and Craig Watson.
Soundwave allows users to see what their friends or anyone in a given area of the world is listening to on their smartphone. Through a smart interface, users can draw the parameters on a map and then see what people in that area are listening to.
“So far we have just been concentrating on creating something that people really like,” Mr Sliney said.
Soundwave seems to have cracked the code for customer satisfaction, with Twitter blocking its account as it was receiving so many messages of support.
“It’s after exploding all over the world,” Mr Sliney said.
The company has big plans and isn’t relying on advertising to generate money. If users discover new music and decide to purchase it on the iTunes or Google Play stores, Soundwave will receive between 5% and 10% of the purchase price.
With the company wooing tastemakers to the app — all of The Coronas use it — and having received international press coverage on launch day, Soundwave could beat rivals such as Twitter Music and become the music discovery app of choice.
Key to its success has been extensively beta-testing the app and working closely with Google and Apple to perfect it. “We spent about a month and a half with a team of about 600-700 people testing the beta version for us,” Mr Sliney said.
Soundwave has worked to ensure it is a truly global brand by translating the app into 14 languages and tweaking it for different locations around the world.
Even before the app launched, it had users in China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan.
The company is hoping to provide analytics to artists and record companies about what is performing well in different territories, which may lead to a second revenue stream.
Although the app collects and shares what users are listening to, how much each user shares is entirely up to them.
The company is a graduate of the National Digital Research Centre LaunchPad programme and is backed by Enterprise Ireland
Mr O’Driscoll said: “The foundations for Soundwave were laid during our time in LaunchPad and NDRC. It allowed us the time and space to refine the product and the access to NDRC mentors and alumni provided invaluable knowledge and insight. Through our involvement with NDRC, we gained the momentum that has brought us to the point now where we have launched worldwide on iOS and Android.”
*To download the Soundwave app, visit: getsoundwave.com.
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