I've been curious what's happening behind Tunigo since adding it by chance to my Spotify Apps. The app is basically only a playlist directory, and I've been puzzled what's been generating revenue or why someone built it. It's not a hacked-together project - their Spotify and iPhone/Android app looks quite polished, and they offer a large number of professionally curated and user submitted playlists.
Luckily I saw Tunigo has a Swedish flag in the corner, and it's my day job to ask these questions, so I reached out to the company to see what makes them tick.
The playlists for every occasion are or course a big focus, but in the future they're going to implement it in a really interesting way. Instead of making you find the right playlist for studying or going to the gym, they hope to just give you a single play button that figures it all out for you. It's an idea I've had kicking around in my head, so I think this is pretty awesome.
Tunigo CEO Nick Holmstén says that instead of genres dividing up music in the future, he envisions more of a music-to-life mentality, which I have to agree with. I've got my Sunday Morning Reggae playlist, as well as my Sunday Evening melancholy, and it seems like a truth that music fits a time and a place.
"The whole mission of our music application is to just have a play button. That's where we are starting from. That's the feature we're going to release in our upcoming iPad app, and I think [once it's released] people will understand more where we are coming from."
To properly give you the right music for the right occasion, the app is going to bring in more real-time data, such as what time it is, where you are, what the weather is outside, and so on. What's interesting to note is that they're staying away from algorithms that automatically serve up music, they are going exclusively with professionally curated or user-submitted playlists. Holmstén says the human element is really important.
What's also good to note is that they're really focused on broad consumer appeal, and not not getting too caught up in the music industry or startup mindsets. Holmstén tells us he's applying to business what he learned in his earlier days as a music writer working with Simon Cowell. Back then Cowell told him, "It's all about reaching the 24 year old nurse living in the suburbs of London. If you get her, you get everything."
Tunigo has raised about SEK 20 Million (€2.4 million) in funding, and has a team of 17 split between Stockholm and New York.
It's was a cold sunny day in Stockholm when I talked to Holmstén. When asked what playlist Tunigo should serve up for this mood, he suggest My Favorite Coffeehouse. You can find it in their Spotify or on their iPhone or Android app.