Tech

Music video-sharing app Popster uses generative AI and lets artists remix videos

As more music streaming apps and creation tools emerge to compete for users’ attention, social music-sharing app Popster is getting two new features to grow its user base: an AI image generator for cover art and a collaboration capability where artists can remix another user’s song. 

Initially launched last year as a song-creation tool and music video platform, Popster allows artists to engage with other musicians, create original songs and music videos, and share them on social media. Users can record video and voice directly in the app and add stickers and color backgrounds. The app also offers a selection of vocal effects (created in-house) and a community section for artists to interact with each other.

The app has, naturally, jumped on the generative AI bandwagon as well. For instance, it provides ways for artists to generate ideas for lyrics as well as create new beats to record vocals on top. (Popster also uses AI tech to enhance the audio if there’s background noise.) 

Image Credits: Popster

One notable AI-powered tool is the “Add a beat” feature. Users can select a genre (Lofi Hip Hop, R&B, Indie Pop, Slow Ballad and so on) and a vibe like “Smooth” or “Normal” to compose a backtrack for singers to add their voice recordings on top. 

Popster uses Mubert’s library of royalty-free pre-made tracks, distinguishing itself from AI music apps Udio and Suno, both of which recently faced lawsuits for allegedly using copyrighted music without authorization. 

“The issue with AI right now is that many people create songs that are trained from original songs, so you don’t know who is the original creator, and there’s not this concept of creativity,” co-founder and CEO Themis Drakonakis told TechCrunch. “We believe that if you put AI next to the artist as a creative partner, you can experiment with [different sounds], unlock different ideas, and get your creativity to another level.” 

Image Credits: Popster

Popster’s new artwork generator, “Albums,” is the newest addition to its generative AI tools (which are all powered by OpenAI). In addition to being able to record and upload videos, Popster now allows artists to enter a prompt to generate an image that can be displayed like a sticker overlay on top of an artist’s short-form video. This adds an extra layer of sophistication for new and up-and-coming artists trying to introduce their new songs into the world. 

Another one of Popster’s new features appears to be its take on TikTok’s “Stitch” and “Duet” tools, which artists frequently use to combine their videos with other creators to add vocals, harmonize or play instruments. Popster’s new “Mashup” feature lets artists create remixes and collaborate with other artists. Users can now click the “Mashup” button under another person’s video and record their own video, which will appear side-by-side. 

Popster co-founders Themis Drakonakis (left) and Sotiris Kaniras (right)
Image Credits: Popster

Popster is still in its early days, with only a few thousand users. However, Popster’s latest features may be what it needs to attract more people. So far, nearly 10,000 original songs have been created on the app. Drakonakis told us that users spend an average of 1.5 hours on the app daily. 

The startup was co-founded by Drakonakis and Sotiris Kaniras (CTO). They previously created three other apps: Nup, an anonymous chat app; Self’it, a location-based photo-sharing app; and UniPad, a collaboration app for college students. 

Popster raised $280,000 from the Realize Tech Fund and is in the midst of raising a pre-seed funding round, which will help it grow its team and enhance its video server. Other future plans include launching paid features and teaming up with music labels. 

The app is available for download on the App Store.

Updated 7/3/24 at 3:30 pm ET with the correction that the beat generator is not powered by OpenAI. Popster also doesn’t have an app for Android devices.

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