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Corporate Startups 4 min

Samsung is revolutionizing the world of music creation with a hum. Did you hear about it?

Corporate Startup of the Week

Did you ever dream of being a music artist, singing your heart out in front of a live audience or composing a verse that expresses your feelings like words cannot? Well this app doesn’t get you that far, but it lets you quickly find your musical self with minimal effort. You can now create your own songs from scratch to a pretty decent melody, just with the power of a hum.

HumOn is a free mobile app that uses analyses software to interpret the pitch and duration of the user’s vocal sounds and composes suitable melodies through 600 thousand machine-learned chord progressions. You can then customize your song in different genres and even get some flexibility in fine-tuning each song to your style. The most advanced musicians can also access and adjust the musical notations in a fully customizable sheet.

 

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“Anything can become music with HumOn (...) Let HumOn listen to a baby crying or babbling at home. Funnily enough, the crying and babbling become music – into a ballad or whichever musical genre you choose.”

David Choi, CEO of HumOn

Joining forces for the love of music

In 2015, David Choi, Joe Ahn, and Youngki Ahn participated in Samsung Electronic’s C-Lab.

The company’s in-house idea incubation program encourages employees to develop innovative ideas in all areas of business and supports them in launching their own startups. So when 3 music-loving engineers got together, the result couldn’t be any less than harmonic.

The idea started from the fact that there are no social media platforms specifically targeted to music. Even though it’s a generally appreciated art form, it’s considerably difficult to create. Anyone can pick up a pen and paper and become an artist with some time and dedication, but musicians have to invest a hefty amount of money to even venture into this world.

 

Following the beat

In 2015, Cooljamm Company was born. TThe startup spun off from Samsung in 2016, and it’s now its own independent business. They became the first Korean startup to be accepted as a Berkeley SkyDeck Cohort team for Fall 2018, an accelerator program at the University of California, Berkeley. This meant that half of the company has moved to technology Mecca Silicon Valley to take part in the program and focus on the US market.

Cooljamm Company has a strong focus on culture, nurturing the creative environment that such a startup needs to thrive. With a wide range of employees profiles, from electronics and software experts to music professionals, Cooljamm trusts its team to make the right decisions by themselves.

“Everyone has different backgrounds and needs, and wants to do different things. We can’t do much but to trust them, (...) At Cooljamm Company, we respect each employee’s style and characteristics. It’s not being selfless – it just happens to be the best way to get the most out of people. Working hours are flexible, and employees stick to their own style.”

David Choi, CEO of HumOn

Future trends

You probably won’t be reaching Spotify’s top 100 with HumOn, but it’s a great low-barrier starting point for aspiring musicians and anyone else who likes to play around with tunes. Every song created is 100% copyright-free, so if you need a jingle for your podcast, for instance, then this is a great option.

Cooljamm Company also noticed this market opportunity, so they created a specific service for online creators to make customized music for videos, Scenergy.

Even though the music industry is a tight market to get into, Cooljamm has been able to find some cracks that need filling.

“What’s promising is that music has always been here for thousands of years, (...) People will always enjoy singing and dancing. And the opportunities to make a living while helping more people enjoy music will always be there.”

David Choi, CEO of HumOn

The company’s management firmly believes in their vision and keeps experimenting and reiterating to find the right spot in the market. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting to see what other applications Cooljamm will find for its technology and what the implications will be for the music industry. Perhaps we can hope to see a future collaboration with Samsung?

 

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Mariana Abreu

Innovation Journalist & Creative Content Creator



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