Kyle Jenkins (Songr) – Interview

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on April 10, 2010

Kyle Jenkins from Songr (the social service for the discovery of music that I just reviewed) was kind enough to sit through my interview the same day my original post was published. Thanks a lot, Kyle! You will find his answers below.

Songr
Full Name: Kyle Jenkins
Age: N/A
Startup: Songr
Position: Owner

THE STARTUP

Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

Oddly enough, the best ideas come when you least expect it. I was simply singing to myself in the shower (yes..yes..) when I realized I had sung the same song over and over for the past week! This led me to my hunt for better songs, which, to my dismay, brought me no results.

After hours of Googling, the only good source seemed to be YouTube, which, as we all know, isn’t dedicated to music. This got me thinking. I mean, I couldn’t be the only one with repetitive shower songs right?

Since I had some free time, I started on the design and, after 5 tries, finally got one that seemed decent. Working from that, I utilized my limited PHP skills and coded the site.

Eventually, I hit a wall when I was coding the rating system. I received help from a good friend on this part – which he coded our perfectly.

After 3 days of work, I finally got the site together. Over the next couple of days I started implementing features slowly, but efficiently. We are now working on a community system which allows for user registration and interaction.

I mean, the whole point of Songr is that it’s community powered, right?

What was the original launch date?

It was originally planned to be in late April, but additional allotted time allowed us (well, me) to complete it sooner.

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

It’s been pretty successful actually. We’ve received around 300 unique visitors daily since launch, but it doesn’t seem as if the majority of them are voting. Hopefully, the planned community features will encourage this.

What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?

Definitely community features, with Twitter and possibly Facebook integration. Mood categorizing (suggested by the author of this blog) and a more beneficial advertisement system; both of which are currently being looked into. In addition, we are also constantly looking into improving our ratings algorithm.

There is a certain tendency to demonize the Internet in the music industry. I think it is all a matter of perspective – it all depends on the uses it is put to. What is your opinion? In which areas has the Internet left an unquestionably positive mark?

Well, the illegal downloading issue is certainly on the rise. Since the start, I’ve always purchased my music off of iTunes, with the exception of 2 or 3 mandopop songs that were unavailable on the iTunes store (still doesn’t right my action though). Services like last.fm, Pandora, Vevo, and the likes have proven to be a nice and efficient way to listen to music though; when compared to illegally downloading.

I must say however, that the internet has definitely left a mark on the music industry. Much of music promotion done today is via ads, music videos, celebrity tweets, and even blogs such as this one.

What advice could you give to anybody who is launching a music-related startup in the future? What are the obvious mistakes that should be avoided?

Well, I’d definitely say to not offer music downloads, unless the consent of the artist is given. Also, make sure that copyrights are not infringed during your road to success – that is a very critical point that is often overlooked.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate in contacting us at songr[at]songr[dot]com or following us at Twitter.com/SongrOfficial. Enjoy!

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