Two IU juniors launched their new app HotDrop on Sept. 29, which is a new music app for users to discover and share songs with friends.
Co-founders Max Goldberg and Steven Segel said they consider themselves to be music fanatics, and they enjoy sharing new songs with friends. Both students said they realized they found streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify to be inadequate for finding and sharing new music.
HotDrop is a free music application that plays 30 seconds of a song and allows users to swipe left or right depending on whether or not they like the song. Users can swipe up to share the song with a friend or down to add the song to a streaming app.
When looking through an Apple Music or Spotify playlist, Goldberg said people tend to use their eyes first when deciding what song to play. By instantly playing a clip of a song along with its title and cover art, users can base their judgment of the song on how it sounds.
“It’s like Tinder for music, and I got addicted to swiping,” HotDrop user Will Clarke said. “It’s not like any other music app I’ve used before. I would definitely recommend HotDrop to my friends.”
Goldberg said they believe the popular streaming sites are designed for listening to songs you already know and not for finding new ones.
One of the main goals Goldberg and Segel said they had in mind while designing the app was creating an ear-first experience by allowing users to listen to the music instantly.
“Right off the bat you’re going to have that knee jerk impulse reaction,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg and Segel said the app is free and has no ads. Instead, revenue is generated through artist collaboration.
Throughout the next month, Goldberg and Segel said they hope to partner with artists to release exclusive songs on HotDrop. They said they want the HotDrop community to have a voice in deciding what artists and songs become popular.
During the first week of release, Segel said users listened to more than 400,000 songs, and the app saw 25% daily growth.
They estimate that more than 1,000 IU students downloaded HotDrop within the first 24 hours of its release by using an analytic software that tracks the geography of users, Segel said.
Segel said the initial feedback they received was very positive, with artists, DJs and users saying how easy it is to share music with friends.
“Early on, we got a lot of feedback saying that it’s easy to get lost and pass time like TikTok,” Segel said.
Goldberg and Segel said the response from the HotDrop community was very encouraging. They said the feedback they are receiving reinforces their goal for the user experience, and they are excited to see HotDrop grow.
“We are trying to create a platform where college students who are passionate about music, who are passionate about sharing music can come together and decide the famous artists of tomorrow,” Goldberg said.