Snap Acquires Songwriting Startup Voisey, as Music Tech Gains Traction in Social Media

Snap Acquires Songwriting Startup Voisey, as Music Tech Gains Traction in Social Media

Santa Monica-based Snap has acquired Voisey, a U.K.-based music-tech startup that launched in 2019. The deal was reported by Business Insider, which did not include terms.

Voisey is a mobile app similar to TikTok, but with more of a creator-oriented bent. Whereas TikTok allows users to lip sync and dance to songs in the app's library, Voisey enables users to co-create new songs, or parts of songs, up to a minute in length. Music producers upload their own beats, upon which more users can then add layers like vocals, harmonies or percussion, with support from tech features like auto-tune or other audio enhancements.

Voisey was founded by a group of music-tech entrepreneurs from Norway and the U.K.. It subsequently picked up just shy of $2 million in investment, according to Pitchbook. Among those investors was Norwegian DJ duo Stargate, which described Voisey as 'the future of songwriting.'

Music industry analyst Mark Mulligan of MIDiA, a research firm, put the acquisition in the context of the ongoing growth of music-oriented creator tools like L.A.-based Output, which recently raised $45 million in its first ever fundraise.

"We are on the cusp of a revolution in music making," Mulligan wrote, "with a host of new tools and services set to create the fastest growth in music creativity ever seen. Snap wants to be a part of that."

Snap did not reply to dot.LA's request for comment.

As an indicator of how these tools and services can lead creators to legitimate success, earlier this year, California-based artist Olivia Knight signed with Island Records and Warner/Chappell Music after she gained traction on Voisey by creating over 100 videos on the platform. As of September, the app housed over 11 million new songs, which had collectively been played over 200 million times, according to Music Business Worldwide.

The move follows Snap's recent launch of its TikTok-esque "Sounds on Snapchat" feature. It remains to be seen how exactly the company will integrate Voisey, but the acquisition signals a broader continuation of the rising prominence that music plays in social media.

Snap's stock has been on a tear since its upbeat Q3 earnings report, which goosed a next-day share price increase of 28%. Since then, the stock has risen another 21%, including a near-5% bump on Friday by the market's close.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

Read more Show less
Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.