There’s an old saying that begins: “Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast…”
And it’s true. The music we listen to can calm, excite, arouse, anger, or depress us, magnifying any number of feelings. It can also be used as a powerful tool in our communication with one another. So it’s not surprising that a startup — called MSTY — has launched a new mobile messaging app that lets you express your feelings to friends and family using music.
MSTY, or My Song to You, lets you craft a message to send to friends and combine it with 30-second clips of popular songs. What make this music messaging service unique is its integration with Apple Music — not something you often see in the marketplace today.
“What MSTY can do, but others cannot, is invoke an emotional response that others cannot achieve,” says founder and chief executive Grant Bovey. “Sometimes simple words and images won’t cut it — MSTY allows you to add that deeper level of emotion through the power of music.”
When the app is installed, users need only pick a song from MSTY’s database, (drawing from a catalog of 2,000 songs that will grow to 22 million), customize their message with text and a cool background (use a custom background, a photo from your phone, or just take a selfie), and send.
There is nothing ephemeral about MSTY’s clips, and all the music is hand-curated by the company into playlists based on emotions, genres, and also the latest music charts (refreshed periodically).
While messages can incorporate music from Apple’s library, it’s only going to be in 30-second snippets. MSTY has opted not to use standard computer-generated song previews; instead it has utilized a proprietary technique to find the part of a song that will convey a particular message quickly.
Upon playback of a MSTY message, users can go online to purchase the song through Apple Music’s catalog. Or they can just send a message right back to their friend.
If this sounds to you like just another messaging app to have on your phone, you’re not really wrong. However, Bovey is adamant in pointing out that no other app in the marketplace offers senders a comparable means of conveying their emotions.
The integration with Apple Music is appealing, at the very least — you’ll know that the latest songs (looking at you, Taylor Swift) could be available to send to your friends. And MSTY appears to be pro-consumer, meaning that studios won’t have the ability to push featured music — you won’t see songs from “Trainwreck” suddenly appear in MSTY in any kind of sponsored way.
Bovey says that his company will make money through commissions that it receives from Apple. For every person that becomes an Apple Music subscriber in conjunction with this service, MSTY will get $7.50. But aside from that, it’s not planning to roll out advertisements or other revenue-generating streams right now.
At launch, everything is being shown in English, but Bovey tells VentureBeat that in the future, German and French localizations will be added.
MSTY is available for iOS and Android.