For those who wish American Idol and The Voice had a fairer playing field, you’re in luck. Silicon Valley startup Chosen has created a new mobile app that makes a game out of karaoke and lip-syncing with real prizes for the winners — and the company wants to recruit you.
Those who signup for the mobile app, which is currently in private beta, can play the game as either a performer or a judge. As a performer, the user uploads existing videos or creates new ones through the app. Judges pick winners by watching 15-second clips of singers. Performers and judges both earn point in order to climb up the leader boards based on the ratings of other users. The app is currently only available for iOS, and requires an iPhone 5 or higher, along with a Facebook account. The app is reportedly slated to go public sometime this Spring.
“About 1 billion people watch performers on television around the world,” said founder and former CEO of Beats Music David Hyman via Variety. “Our vision was to reimagine that genre as a mobile game.”
With versatile features and music industry connections, the new Chosen app does have real possibilities. The app features a sleek interface, audio and video editing effects for performers, and offers big prizes for winners. The first winners — both performers and judges — will each receive an all-expenses paid trip to this summer’s Bonnaroo Music Festival, and performers will even get to display their talents on stage. Chosen’s board of advisers includes the former president and CEO of VEVO, Rio Carraeff.
Hyman hopes that Chosen’s new app will attract both talented musicians and entertaining judges. In an interview with TechCrunch, Hyman said “it’s going to be very interesting to see where judge video critiques go. How crazy will they get? How controversial? How brutally honest will they be?”
There’s certainly plenty of interest in reality singing shows, and there are scores of under-appreciated singers. Moreover people love a platform to share their opinions, making a strong case for the app to succeed. Chosen has the financial backing ($6.5 million from investors including DCM, Rhodium Capital, Fosun, and CrunchFund). Now it has to find the fan base.