What Would Instagram for Music Look Like?
Cymbal might have the answer—with help from Spotify and SoundCloud's libraries.
Three undergrads at Boston's Tufts University have a really good idea. Their app is called Cymbal, and it's like Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, and SoundCloud all had one super-cool digital baby. Cymbal has been downloaded nearly 17,000 times, and the company has just received $1.1 million in seed financing by two heavy-hitting investment firms, turning their simple idea into a buzz-worthy $6.1 million startup.
Amadou Crookes, Gabe Jacobs, and Mario Gomez-Hall's idea is relatively simple: on Cymbal, you amass followers, follow your friends, and instead of posting selfies and sunsets, you post one single song, which is paired with the track's album art. Like many popular social media apps, Cymbal includes things like a profile bio, home feed, as well as the ability to comment and select hashtags. As you scroll through your feed, you see a flowing playlist curated by your friends. Essentially, this gives users the chance to pass the (virtual) aux cord, allowing them in a single take to show their friends what tunes they are getting down to.
Unlike many other music-based apps that try to design their own groundbreaking format, Cymbal piggybacks off the libraries of music-streaming giants like SoundCloud and Spotify, letting users select tracks from these massive libraries. While scrolling through your friends' selections, you also have the ability to add tracks to your Spotify library or like them on SoundCloud. For Cymbal, this type of inclusion of third party apps helps them avoid headaches and royalty red tape.
Cymbal's Gabriel Jacobs isn't new to the world of coding. As a mere high-school freshman at NYC's Dalton School, he invented an app that replicates the sound of farting. It was called, simple enough, Fart For Free, and became a popular digital whoopee cushion of sorts. Before you shake your head, note that Jacobs' fart machine racked up over four million downloads and even hit number one on the iTunes app store. Years later, Jacobs and his college pals are looking to change the game. This time not with the sound of someone dropping a booty bomb, but with the way we share and consume music.