SongHi Entertainment is a few years old Finnish startup aiming at empowering the masses with tools to create music. They will try to achieve this through a variety of means, such as casual music oriented games. SongHi Entertainment’s mains service is called SongHi – a virtual community created around people interested in creating music. The company’s on a roll too, a few months ago they closed an investment round that had a group of angels, Optiomi Invest Oy and Veraventure finance the company. Only few months ago they were able to hire one of the key personnels from Sulake, Juha Hynynen to join their ranks.
The concept behind SongHi is an interesting one. They came up with the idea of collaborative and more easier music creation through a practical problem. They were working on a collaborative music production for a movie when they realised how hard it was, even now a days to create collaborative music.
From this they realised that there is a ton of unharnessed potential out there in the masses where very few have the possibility to actually play and practice an instrument. According to studies, most teenagers (more than 50%) in the UK and US would like to play an instrument, but are unable to – be the reason financial, physical limitations or anything in between.
SongHi has created a service where artificial intelligence is used to make sense out of the amateur’s music so that it sounds good. Their demo is a good place to start and get an understanding what they’re cooking. In the demo, users are able to add instruments to the stage setup. Once the instruments are added you are able to play those instruments by simply marking a checkered space on the screen. For each marked spot, the instrument is played.
A simple concept, that has already proven somewhat viral and fun among the intial users. In a few months time, without any advertising they have attracted 8000 unique visitors who have created (and saved to share) around 1500 songs. They might not be your next Billboard hits, but nevertheless the concept is proven fun and easy to use through such conversions.
The service SongHi Entertainment is coming out with this spring is a lot more comprehensive and has more community features embedded in it. Users are able to purchase different instruments with virtual coins and further decorate their stages. Music is such a universal and easily understandable concept with such strong cultural habits that this community has a lot of potential to break big time (just think how far Stardoll went with their paperdolls – now take that concept to music).
The closed beta is going out in a few weeks time. The closed beta will become open by 20th of May and they’re hoping to release it from beta by first of June. Towards the end of the year, SongHi Entertainment is looking to sign more partner deals overseas. In addition to launching the service in Finland, they’re looking to launch it with partners in two more European countries by the end of the year.
I had a chat with Jussi Aronen, CEO, and Samuli Savolainen from SongHi about the company and you could hear from the guys that this isn’t your ordinary tech startup. All the people, management included, are fanatical about music. They currently employ 17 people in total with 3 to 5 people helping out on an outsourced basis every now and then.
I think we’ll definitely be hearing more about SongHi in the near future.