I’ve always thought that everyday life would be more exciting with a soundtrack. Morning coffee accompanied by soothing indie rock, working out to heavy metal, and whenever we say goodbye to our pets, mournful ballads a la Adele would resonate through the air. We’re not there yet, but social music app Vertigo is moving in the right direction with their new feature, Song Stories.
It’s a re-imagining of Snapchat style apps meant for music, that allows the user to mix their video and photographs with music to create a more engaging style of streaming service. Vertigo is a streaming site, focusing on social interaction between it’s users. By connecting a premium streaming service to your Vertigo account, like Apple Music or Spotify Premium, you can stream individual songs, share live music with others or listen in real time to what other users are streaming.
Song Stories takes the social level of Vertigo to the next level. It really is like adding a soundtrack to your life and sharing it with others. Users can take videos or photos while listening to a particular song, and that content will be added to the song’s visual story. The visual story will be an amalgamation of content provided by users that was captured while streaming that song. People who follow the app can then see and like those visual stories, with the most liked content making it to the trending page.
The beauty of this is the visual story isn’t static. It changes over time because the most liked content related to that song becomes the featured content in the visual story. People listen to different songs, at different times, for different reasons. Song Stories will allow us to see the kind of content that people associate with a certain song at a certain time. But it’s not just the social side of this app that is innovative.
Social media posts are generally short. They reflect the waning attention span of the general public, who want to get in, get a short burst of entertainment, then get out. This is fine for people who make a living in the visual medium. Vine was a prime example of this as it sparked a lot of successful YouTube careers such as the *shudders* Paul brothers. But with such short videos and a focus on the visuals, the audio is an afterthought. Artists don’t really see much compensation when their song is a 6-second backing track to someone doing a bottle flip.
But with Vertigo, every time a song is played, the artist is credited. This is because Vertigo is connected to the premium music streaming app of your choice. So, every time a visual story is played, the song for that story is streamed from a premium app like Spotify, and it counts as a stream for the artist. Recently, we’ve seen a lot more people be able to make livings off of social media, so if a social media influencer becomes involved in this app, the potential financial benefits for the artist is huge.
Let’s say an influencer has a following of fifty thousand people who regularly watch their videos. Each time a follower watches the influencer’s Song Story for a particular song, it counts as one stream for the artist. That’s fifty thousand streams for a single song! This is huge when we look at a traditional broadcast method like radio, where a single song may reach fifty thousand people, but the artist is only being paid for that one play.
So, not only is it a great way to add a soundtrack to your life and create a new kind of social interaction based off proven models, but it also has the potential to give greater rewards to artists for their work. It’s a two-sided platform, where both the user and the artist are rewarded for their interaction. A breath of new life into how we share and engage with our music.