YouTube. Soundcloud. Spotify. There are dozens of ways we discover and listen to music in the Internet age. The only problem is that it's hard to share our tastes and what we're listening to across the multitude of social media platforms available to us. Enter a team of Chicago-born millennials keen on fixing that problem.
"We found this gap where people were listening to music from five or six or seven different online music libraries and then they were sharing that music across five or six or seven different feeds," Nusiki co-founder Ben Hewitt told Choose Chicago. "So, you had someone who was sharing Spotify through email and someone who was sharing Soundcloud through text and sharing Youtube videos through Facebook and Twitter. There was this convoluted process of how people were sharing music so, for example, if you want to send your friend a song, it shouldn't be that difficult."
Nusiki, a mobile and desktop app set to publicly launch at South By Southwest Festival this month, is your new friend when it comes to sharing music. One search, one click and you can find and share nearly any song on the ‘Net.
The name is a combination of the Swahili word for "music" and the English word "new." In just six letters, it spells out Nusiki's goal to enhance both the experience of discovering new music and being able to share it to a global network.
Hewitt's simple, yet poignant, mission statement is strikingly logical in the digital, social media age: "What we believe is that Facebook is kind of the documentary of the modern person's life. Twitter is the commentary. Instagram is the photo album. We think Nusiki is the soundtrack."
Hewitt founded Nusiki with longtime friend Tim Welch. The two used their respective marketing and technical backgrounds to fix the problem.
"We kind of recognized that there was a gap in the fragmented online music market," said Hewitt. "The beauty of [Nusiki] is that we weren't seeking a business opportunity. It was a problem that we found in our own lives as music fanatics."
Hewitt and Welch now front a team of five employees, a number they hope and expect to grow once Nusiki goes public. Up to this point, the website has been operating with a beta community made up of A&R people, music bloggers, artists and tastemakers.
Music fans eager to use Nusiki shouldn't worry about the subscription prices or advertisements that affect their other favorite platforms.
"We hope to keep it as easy on the user as possible for as long as possible," Hewitt said of Nusiki's business plan. "We want to make sure that we're facilitating all of these types of communities that keep the music industry going. That means that we want to connect on the back end of what we're doing-monetization activities to connect artists with opportunities, connect artists with labels, labels with information. Our users will have this easy use access and then the more business structure will be going on in the music industry segment."
Nusiki opens itself up to the public as well as launches its mobile app at South By Southwest next week. If you're in Austin, Texas for the festival, be sure to visit their booth in the Digital Music Lounge as well as attend the Choose Chicago Happy Hour on Monday, March 16, from 4-6 p.m. where Nusiki will be hosting. They will also be the proud sponsor of the 7th annual SXSWTAKEOVER.
Images courtesy of Nusiki