Beyond the Pitch

Rapchat Gives Music Lovers a New Way to Create Music

rapchat.alt

Rapchat created a plaftform for sharing music

Seth Miller, CEO of Rapchat, a mobile app that gives anyone the opportunity to create, share, and discover raps, says he’s not a “real” musician, but he has always enjoyed freestyle rapping over beats just for fun with friends.

Miller and his Rapchat co-founder Pat Gibson (aka P-Holla)—who is an established rapper, producer, and musician—came up with the idea for Rapchat in college and have been working on the business ever since.

They’ve built a Rapchat community of more than 100,000 active monthly users. More than 90 percent are in the 18 to 24-year old demographic. To date, users have shared more than 8 million raps.

Rapchat is easy and fun to use.

A musician (or anyone else who wants to have some fun cooking up rap rhymes with friends) can download the app and then choose from hundreds of free beats and instrumentals from upcoming producers around the world.

Users record their vocal tracks over the beat; then it’s all about sharing and promoting—via text, Twitter, SoundCloud, Copy Link, or Facebook Messenger. The social network features in the Rapchat app encourage creators and rap enthusiasts around the world to connect and collaborate.

Those 100,000 active monthly users engage in about 1.5 million monthly sessions, which average about 17 minutes each.

“A lot of users like to use the app as a testing ground for their new flows,” Miller said. “They’re able to get immediate feedback from the community, and this helps them improve their skills and ultimately, produce better music. It’s like having their own mobile recording studio, without having the set up at home or paying for studio time.”

Musicians can use Rapchat to perfect their craft, connect with other musicians, and build and engage with a fan base. A recently released feature called group raps allows musicians to collaborate on the same composition from virtually anywhere in the world.

Rapchat also serves another market segment—high schoolers and college students who have a good time sending tracks back and forth to their friends.

“We are constantly releasing updates to improve the experience, which our users appreciate,” Miller said.

8+ MM raps: Building speed from the bottom up.

Music creation is evolving with technology. “We are at the forefront of that evolution,” Miller said. “Although we are stretched thin right now, we know we are onto something huge and have found ways to continue working on it.”

Miller and Gibson have learned to leverage resources, including 500 Startups and Rev1, both were early investors in Rapchat, enabling the company to launch the first-generation product, add critical features, and build the 100,000-deep user base.

“We are part of the natural progression of where music is going,” said Miller. “We have a brand. We are competing favorably with a proven technology. We continually talk with users to make sure we are meeting their needs.

Miller makes Rapchat’s direction clear to users and expresses the value they can get from the app today and in the future.

“We track every time a beat is played, or rap is recorded or shared,” he said. “No other app has as many raps recorded or shared—even a top 1 music app we compete with,” he said. “We rank 53 on the iTunes music category chart based on usage, downloads, and rating. We stay on top of product quality and are constantly innovating.”

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