Music delivered byte-sized! Idea is to build a community of music fans and artists: Prithvi Shankar, CEO and co-founder, humit

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April 06, 2021 3:13 PM

Innovations in cinema and music happen only with creativity, passion and drive! In the early 90s, recall how AR Rahman's songs in Mani Ratnam's iconic Tamil film 'Roja' revolutionised the way music was treated in southern cinema.

humitBe it in any format or geography, music evolves and resonates with the changing times. This sums up exactly what happened when a team of musicians and artists got together and connected over a shared interest in music.

Innovations in cinema and music happen only with creativity, passion and drive! In the early 90s, recall how AR Rahman’s songs in Mani Ratnam’s iconic Tamil film ‘Roja’ revolutionised the way music was treated in southern cinema. Not only did the trend become a big hit with youngsters and across college campuses, it brought in a feeling of ‘youth’ through the medium of fresh voices and unique instrumental music combinations.

Be it in any format or geography, music evolves and resonates with the changing times. This sums up exactly what happened when a team of musicians and artists got together and connected over a shared interest in music.

“Rohit, Ishaan (also co-founders) and I met back when we were pursuing our undergrad from BITS Pilani and largely connected over a shared interest in music. The team behind humit comes from a varied background with expertise in product development, data science and design, having worked with leading fintech and ecommerce firms such as PayU, Ola and Tesco,” Prithvi Shankar, CEO and co-founder of humit, tells Financial Express Online.

This marks the turning point when they realized that music has a strong social component associated with it, ranging from how people fight over aux cables during road trips, metalheads prefer to sport band tees to wanting to queue the next track at a social gathering. streaming services are designed for private listening.

“We felt the need for a social music discovery platform for ourselves. Initially, we started out building humit for us and a few friends but since we launched on Play Store towards the end of 2020, the feedback has been really encouraging and we are seeing early signs of repeat engagement on the platform ever since,” Prithvi explains.

What about the name humit?

hum (verb) + it = humit (action)

Tell us what is humit all about?

humit is a social media platform for bite-sized music sharing and discovery. The idea revolves around letting Spotify (currently), Apple Music & YouTube Music listeners share 30s audio snippets of powerful moments from their favorite songs, which we refer to as “hums”. These hums can be sampled by followers in an endless feed showcasing fresh and new music.

Music delivered byte-sized – can you articulate this vision?

In this age of waning attention spans, short-form content has taken center stage. Twitter popularized micro-blogging followed by apps like Vine/Tik Tok that made video logging social. Audio as a format is exploding across music/podcasts with more than 50,000 hours of content being uploaded on Spotify each day. However, social audio is currently a whitespace and that’s where we saw the opportunity. In fact, a recent study undertaken by Spotify shows that 1 out of 3 songs gets skipped within the first 30s. That’s how we decided to narrow down on the 30s short-form audio + UGC (user-generated content) format.

What do you mean with the emphasis on ‘Share convincingly’ and how does it translate into impactful behavior for your users?

Music sharing on mobile is broken — sharing a URL through Facebook/ Messenger/ Instagram Stories/ WhatsApp means cutting through the clutter, jumping between apps, and there’s often no feedback on whether someone listened to/ liked the song or not.

On the other hand, algorithmic reccos tend to go no further than saying “here’s another song that sounds extremely similar to the one you just listened to”.

That’s where we feel the ability to curate the best moments from your favorite tracks would ease the process of sharing and discovery. And in the process, leading to the discovery of underrated/ underrepresented artists.

What external factors have supported the growth of humit?

Our recent soft launch on Product Hunt had trended #1 and got us featured on their newsletters, Twitter, etc, courtesy of all the support and generosity we received.

Further, we are also now working with top colleges in India and some of the country’s finest musicians to organize a nationwide virtual music talent hunt called ‘heal the world’ with a total pool of Rs. 7 lakhs supported by OnePlus India. More on this is available on our website.

Scaling up – what’s your big plan and focus areas?

Although we have been building a global product since Day 1, given that we are serving an international audience of streaming service users, our current focus is on the Indian market.

Since our ideal users would be millennials and Gen Z, we are focusing on college communities, to begin with through various online activations and by partnering with offline events.

Down the line, we would also be working closely with musicians & artists to provide them avenues to monetize their talent.

The idea is to build a community of music fans and artists, enabling meaningful interactions.

In 2021, you would see us actively engaging in collaborations with music festivals, artists, and collegiate events across the country.

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