Who thought music videos of the future would be seven seconds long? Mindie, an app that lets users shoot short clips backed by music, just raised $1.2 million in a first round of funding with the hopes of changing music discovery.
“Mindie’s way to crack music discovery is to offer a passive discovery experience” says cofounder Stanislas Coppin. “People are not searching for new tracks but discovering new music while watching videos.”
Troy Carter, Chris Howard, Dave Morin, Michael Arrington, and Pete Cashmore are among some of the early investors trying to take the simple mobile app beyond the early adopter crowd. “Our investors are from tech, media, and entertainment industries” says cofounder Gregoire Henrion. “By creating a new format of consumption, I think Mindie is more of a cultural company than just a tech company.” Other investors include Lower Case Ventures, Cashmere Entertainment, Betaworks, and Summly’s Nick D’Aloisio.
On first blush Mindie looks similar to Vine, which also takes tap-to-record videos, but the services are aimed at different crowds. Mindie cofounder Clement Raffenoux says, “You’re not only capturing a moment, you’re creating a story while you record a video. Our experience of consumption is strongly focused on contents due to the fullscreen feed and the minimal UI. We erased as much meta data as we could. That’s why we define Mindie more like a TV channel than a traditional social media.” Beyond design, the app is also wildly clever in its use of the iTunes API, which gives it access to every song on Apple’s service, including exclusives.
One of the most important things for a content creation app to have, especially early on, is passionate users. Vine has inspired a lot of hilarious clips, including those from Blake Wilson, otherwise known as BatDad. In a similar way, Mindie has already captured the imagination of users, including Jesiah Bonney, who rose to the top featured spot based off his impressive videos. Bonney took to the service because he immediately understood the value music can add to a video.
When Mindie first launched a few months ago, it was hard to see how a single feed of short clips could impact the music industry. It may not be clear why Mindie works, but it’s part of an evolving music industry that takes very few cues from the past.