It’s no secret that people prefer discovering music from friends and artists rather than a computer algorithm, but as of yet there’s no definitive social media platform for music discovery. Yes, you can get leads from Facebook or Twitter, or follow along to what friends are listening to on Spotify. But there still isn’t a widely-used social media platform for sharing music. Three friends from Tufts University think they have the solution with a new music discovery app called Cymbal.
The app allows users to “share your song of the moment” (called a ‘cymbal’) on your personal profile, scroll through a feed of your friends’ favorite songs, and listen, like, and comment away. Promising an “always-updating playlist” of music Cymbal leverages the services you already use to allow you to easily share what you’re into at the moment, and follow tunes from friends and followers.
To use Cymbal, you create an account by logging in through Twitter or Facebook, and then connect your Spotify account. After choosing Facebook and Twitter friends as well as publications and artists you want to follow, your main feed will be populated with a scrolling list of ‘cymbals’ (or shared songs) — indicated by the song’s corresponding album cover — from those you follow. Cymbal allows you to share songs from both Soundcloud and Spotify, although you’re only able to listen to full tracks from Spotify if you have a Premium account.
Cymbal recently received $1.1 million in seed funding from Vaizra Investments (also a funder of Yik Yak, and Casper) and General Catalyst (Snapchat, Airbnb). Since its public launch this spring, the app has accumulated 17,000 downloads according to Forbes.
It’s certainly not the first attempt at creating a social media platform for sharing music (see: This is My Jam, Turntable.fm, and Apple’s much-maligned iTunes Ping, among others). But it has simplicity on its side, and its young developer — Gabe Jacobs — has had some success in the app ecosystem before, albeit with a silly concept: Jacobs’ virtual whoopee cushion called Fart For Free was downloaded over 4 million times — and hey, he was still in high school back then.
Jacobs, alongside co-founders Amadou Crookes and Mario Gomez-Hall, aim to open an office in New York this fall and grow the platform. We’ll be watching.