Last summer the venture incubator H-Farm has contributed to the start-up of an Italian company that operates in the sphere of music and that is catching the media attention. Thounds – this is the name of the new fast growing social network, a fusion between thoughts and sounds – has a business model similar to that of Facebook but takes advantage of an old-age union: Internet and music. The main goal is to give who loves music the possibility to share each other original podcasts, creative experimentations, research of new sounds. In other words, it offers a new way to collaborate in creating music. How Thounds works is simple, and this is its strength as well (Apple, before others, has benefited from its devotion to simplicity): Giulio lives in Venice and is playing a guitar melody that you just can’t shake from your brain, so he creates a free account and uploads his music on Thounds. Paul, from Oslo, just starts singing on top of Giulio’s great track. Sandra, a german drummer, adds a good drum base. Finally Scott, comfortably sat on his coach somewhere in the British countryside, lays down the perfect bass line. The sounds brainstorming activity is done, they record the song… A new band is born, pheraphs.
But inspiration cannot be kept in storage and planned. Maybe you want to catch your musical idea when it happens, where it happens and record it live. No fear, Thounds for the iPhone and iPod Touch is already on the shelf. And now with a new release available for free from the iTunes store (http://itunes.com/apps/thounds) with three relevant improvements: you can decide who can hear your thounds, you can share them also on Twitter and by email, the metronome now starts before recording begins.
Honestly, something similar to Thounds already existed. Does “Remixing for the masses” say you something? Probably not, but that’s what Jamglue’s slogan recites, synthesizing the concept behind its service: “upload or record your own tracks; create an original mix or personalize someone else’s in our simple online mixer; show off your music: email it, embed it, or just sit back and let the Jamglue community discover your talent!”. This is Jamglue, a functionality-reduced version of Cubase or GarageBand , living in the confines of the browser and with some social networking features. However, despite some analogies with Jamglue, Thounds has two strength points: it has enforced the social networking aspect, giving everyone the possibility to create their own musical project, through a selection of the best musicians for their needs; the interface is pretty intuitive, in full Apple style. And Mac people know that a simple, intuitively designed and catchy user interface brings people more convenience and enjoyment.
So, the growing of music-based social networks is confirming the role of users in driving online trends. Furthermore, users are learning how to monetize through their networks, bypassing the music industry that is in a turning point towards an adaptation to survive in the present scenario. I think no other industry had trouble in achieving benefit from the Internet in the way that music industry had over these years. The marriage between music and Internet was inescapable, but it’s undeniably rocky. If we talk about self-made music, instead, things go differently and a win-win relationship is possible. How? Through several music marketplaces, such as AudioJungle, that aim to help unknown musicians buy and sell their digital works.