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Insights February 22, 2022

Meet Syncc: the future of music discovery

Would you rather discover music from people instead of algorithms? Thankfully, music obsessive Josephine Norvell came up with the idea for Syncc, an exclusive social music app for shared listening experiences. Here, she tells us more.

Josephine Norvell Syncc
Josephine Norvell Syncc

Would you rather discover music from people instead of algorithms? Thankfully, music obsessive Josephine Norvell came up with the idea for Syncc, an exclusive social music app for shared listening experiences. Here, she tells us more. 

Tell us about Syncc! 

Syncc is an exclusive community where music, artists and creators are in focus. People can discover music from like-minded, be discovered and get credit for their great taste in music. Artists and tastemakers can also engage and interact with their audience. 

How did you come up with the idea? 

The idea came to me when I was doing a PR internship in Beijing. I’ve always been the playlist provider for my friends, and I was feeling quite isolated and lonely there. They kept requesting new playlists for parties and events that I couldn’t attend, and I started thinking, what if I could play music here and they could just tune in? How can I make the listening experience more social? I even asked Spotify about real-time listening and better social tools to connect people, but they were moving in the opposite direction. So, I decided to do it myself. I had no experience in the music industry (except I’m a total music nerd). I can spend hours browsing for new music. If I haven’t heard it, it’s not good (laughs). 

Tell us more about why music lovers need Syncc. 

Today, 60,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify every single day, making it hard to navigate and find new music. There’s also a growing dissatisfaction with algorithmic suggestions. Most people see personal recommendations as the most reliable way to find music. In a world where we are fed with content in an algorithmic and digitalized way, We strongly believe that music recommendations still need to be validated with a human touch. With Syncc, you get authentic and accurate recommendations faster than anywhere else. I guarantee you will find new music that you’ll actually like.

Who’s the team behind the app?

I have no experience with coding, so I wrote in a group for programmers and my co-founder Max, who’s from Finland, answered. Max had also been thinking about building a music library that was accessible for everyone, so we had common interests. Julia, our creative director, is a friend of Max and joined us from the very first days. She lives in London and has worked with massive brands like Nike – she’s so talented! We also have three developers, Jihan, Dorde and Anis, who are from Bangladesh, Montenegro, and Tunisia. So, I’m the only Swede in the team! Because we come from different cultures and backgrounds, we all bring different insights and knowledge to the table – which makes the product more interesting and less homogeneous. But we all share the same passion for music. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far on your startup journey?

It’s much harder than I ever thought it would be. Teamwork is key where it’s important that you’re all in it together because you can’t do everything alone. I’ve also learned that the journey is the goal. With that in mind you don’t get devastated when something doesn’t go as planned, you just know you need to make a turn to continue forward. I’m always reminding myself that I’m doing what I love, and we’re building something complex that didn’t exist before. That’s actually quite cool. 

The level of business admin also took me by surprise! Just trying to understand what to do and know what’s legal and what’s not takes so much time. I often wonder how on earth people actually manage to start companies, because there’s so much admin. Thankfully, I got lucky when it came to meeting people who knew about this stuff. I also have some fantastic mentors which makes a huge difference. When I say the words ‘I have my own company’ it honestly feels weird. How did I pull this off in between all this paperwork? (laughs). 

Do you have any other advice for other entrepreneurs?

I would definitely find a mentor who believes in you. That’s so important in the beginning. You need someone with a bit of experience that you can bounce stuff with. Even if it’s just a friend or a business partner, having that more experienced person makes all the difference. Telling someone my idea out loud who would actually listen was the first big step for me – and it’s a good start. 

When it comes to the idea, I’d say you need to hash out the problem and the demand. Basically, you can be blessed with an awesome business idea that you think people will like, but that’s not enough. You need to refine it, test it, and figure out the actual demand.

What’s next for Syncc?

We will officially launch Syncc in the beginning of January 2022, but we’re keeping it exclusive (meaning you need an invite to join). We want to ensure that it’s the right crowd on the platform. Our target group is really hardcore music enthusiasts, playlist creators, DJs, artists, and all-round music nerds. We’re also testing out our recommendation feature, which recommends human-curated playlists instead of algorithmic ones. We’ve also added a functionality with social connections so you can see who follows your playlists which you get credit for – which is a nice reward because it takes a long time to create good playlists! 

What’s your favourite song right now?

Territory by The Blaze, it’s such an emotional kick and I highly recommend watching the well-produced music video.

Would you like to learn more about Syncc?

Download the app or reach out to Josephine on josephine@syncc.app

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