Finding a great new band might not be as hard as starting a new relationship, but we all need help with music discovery from time to time. Tinder co-founder Christopher Gulcynski and former VP of design Sarah Nick have created an iPhone app, called Next, that hopes to do the same thing that Tinder does for relationships, but for listeners hoping to find new music.
Musicians can use Next to record short videos of their music, from up to 3 minute to as little as 10 seconds. Listeners can then listen to excerpts of songs, swiping right if they enjoyed it or swiping left if they’re not interested. Listeners can follow an artist they’re enjoying, or they can share via their networks.
“Being so close to Tinder, we liked the gamified feeling,” said Gulcynski. “The swiping mechanic is just a UI convention that we really like, but the core of it is everyone is given the same amount of attention. If you get a few swipes left and get knocked off the list, you can upload as many videos as you want to. Got a great idea for a song? Just put it up there.”
There are a lot methods for discovering music nowadays (*cough, P&P, cough*), but it still makes sense that people are wanting new music faster than before. Gulcynski also implied that the service would be beneficial to artists looking to sketch out quick ideas, similar to how designers use Dribbble. Next isn’t being marketed as a competitor to other music discovery services like Spotify, because the hope is that it’ll send listeners to those services if they enjoyed what they’ve heard.
Gulcynski also mentioned that Next could feature a donation option for artists in the future, similar to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. He also mentioned, “If the ‘music industry’ wants to be a part of it, we’re going to force them to play nice.” It’s nice to see such a big service launching a product that focuses on the little guys more than the big guys, but there’s something sad about art being turned into a game of “swipe left or swipe right.”
We’ll see how it all plays out.