Audio Y is the new startup in town that has all the spunk to offer folks with new and exciting apps. The genius behind this great venture is Jonathan Neumann. He until last year was just another French exchange student at Exeter University (UK) who was reveling at the victory of winning an international competition with a few friends that took him places around the world. It was only in early June 2014 that an inspiration compelled him to kick start his brain child, Audio Y with its first app being ‘Split the Beat’.
What Inspired it All?
“I was travelling with my girlfriend on a train from Exeter to London and we were listening to music together, which involved sharing earphones. Whenever one of us moved to look outside or reach for something the earphone would pop out. It was extremely frustrating. I decided to solve the problem with an app that not only allows us to listen to music together, but also to create the ultimate playlist with songs from both our phones! Thus Split The Beat was born” says Neumann.
Audio Y has a dual-function. It’s the startup through which he wants to develop apps that solve problems that he personally finds even remotely frustrating.
On the Journey So Far…
He says “I didn’t really face any hurdle, which is pretty rare. I am an iOS developer with 4 years experience working on different projects. I had already built a network of contacts that could help me evaluate ‘Split The Beat’ and introduce me to relevant people to take the app further, and I have experience in international entrepreneurship. The biggest hurdle with ‘Split The Beat’ came more so from the technology itself: Streaming MP3s and M4As between phones is not at all easy, as anyone working with Core Audio will know. It is my most difficult project so far”.
Audio Y is heading towards a time where music listening experience with friends, families or anyone will be an enjoyable moment. Yes, there are tons of music services out there but at the end of it all music only comes out of one phone. “Music is a social product, it enhances our experience with our friends, and that can only be done by sharing earphones at the moment.” he adds.
‘Split The Beat’ solves this problem by not only allowing two phones to connect when nearby, but also allowing them to create a common playlist with songs from both phones. It means that new music can now be easily discovered through friends. The app is further impressive as it allows its users to text each other directly.
Wait the coolest part is yet to come! All the features can be used without any data consumption. It works practically anywhere, even underground and even in areas where no network is available.
“So far no competitors have been identified. But even if some are discovered later, the fact that none of the teenagers/young adults I talked to knew of any other solution to share music proves that these projects are not very active.” he says.
Regarding ‘Split The Beat itself’, he hopes to start generating revenue soon after the public release of the app (within a couple of months). This would allow him to hire a team to further tap into the full potential of the app and grow it exponentially. For folks who are curious to have a partial experience of ‘Split the Best’, it is available in beta for iOS users. As for Android users, you would have to wait for just a little while longer.
“As for the technology I have developed, it will be diversified to address other markets. The one-to-one streaming technology will be used with different features that appeal to an older target market”, he adds.
Audio Y’s target audiences are teenagers, young adults, and any music lovers who likes to experience music with their friends. Commuters are a secondary audience. In UK alone there are 500,000 teenagers that commute to school daily. The market potential is quite huge. The app will be released in English at first to target the US and the UK market, before being translated into other languages and extended to other countries.
Neumann says that he would prefer a pay-as-you-go approach for the app. The app will come pre-loaded with 20 sessions. Every time you connect with a friend you use a session. After these 20 sessions are used you have to buy session packs within the app to connect with a friend again. A 20 session pack costs $1.99 and would probably last about a month or more depending on connection habits.
What we think will make ‘Split the Beat’ tick among its intended audience? Well it has packs that are extremely cheap; it satiates the desire to listen to and discover new music with a friend, and lets you chat with them. In a way, this app has the right formula to give their users more than their money’s worth. To sum it all up, Audio Y is something to watch out for!!
Psst…. For people who want to ‘accidently’ bump into Jonathan he lives in London and can be actively found at various Tech events across the city and Exeter.