Latrobe’s father and daughter develop song texting app for iPhone users

If you’re tired of texting, photos, and GIFs, a Latrobe dad and daughter are hoping you try a new app they’ve developed that sends out song clips.

Lyritext launched on September 1 on the Apple App Store, offering short clips from a catalog of over 100,000 songs in many genres, from old classics to current sounds, American artists and others. of the whole world.

Lyritext is available for iPhone users, with a seven-day free trial and a $ 2.99 per month subscription that can be canceled at any time. Lyritext does not sell advertising or collect data to sell to other entities.

“We want users to have carefree fun with their friends, family and others while sharing their love of music,” said Adam Gardner, who developed the concept with his daughter, Addie Gardner.

The seeds for the app sprouted about six years ago, when Adam picked up Addie, now 20 and a student at Duquesne University, from Ellis School in Pittsburgh to Ligonier, where they were living at the time.

Most of the ride was spent listening to First Wave, a Sirius XM channel featuring 1980s alternative music from Depeche Mode, Men At Work, Blondie and a shared favorite, The Talking Heads.

“We started playing games with the titles and artists of the songs and tried to go wrong in a conversation about the name of the song or the artist without the other person realizing it,” Adam said. “For example, if REM ‘Can’t Get There From Here’ was playing, I could say to Addie, ‘Oh no, the road is closed and we can’t go from here’, and she would worry until only to realize that it was the song that was playing on the radio.

An idea was born

After a particularly long day with hours of homework yet to be done, Addie received a text from a friend who wanted to come.

“It was the last thing Addie wanted that night, and Men at Work’s’ Who Can it Be Now ‘happened to be playing, along with the lyrics’ Stay away, don’t invade my house. ‘”, said Adam. “I looked at Addie and said, ‘You can just text her,’ and Lyritext was born.”

Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Review

Adam Gardner and his daughter, Addie Gardner (on phone), of Latrobe developed the Lyritext song-clip texting app, available on the Apple App Store.

“We thought of it as a fun project, but it has the potential to take off because everyone loves music and everyone has a smartphone,” Addie said.

Coming up with a name and logo was easy for Adam, who owns BattleZone Latrobe and GOG Paintball in Loyalhanna and, with his wife Michelle Gardner, operates Thistledown Inn in Ligonier.

He filed for a provisional patent to protect the idea and worked with Chetu, a Florida-based app developer, to bring the concept to life.

Once the patent was granted, the plan was to raise money for song licenses with a Kickstarter campaign. They only raised $ 974 of their goal of $ 125,000.

“There were definitely times when I felt like this wasn’t going to happen,” Addie said. “Dad kept pushing and finding other ways to do it.”

“You can’t be afraid of a ‘no’ or a rejection, or it will never happen,” Adam said. “I guess at that point we were pretty demoralized; and it probably would’ve been a good idea to throw in the towel, but it’s just not something we were comfortable doing.

Adam started calling music industry writers and public relations people and eventually was referred to Songclip, a technology platform for integrating licensed music on social and digital platforms.

“What’s interesting is that Songclip had followed almost the same path a few years ago, with a similar concept just done differently,” Adam said. “They ran into the same hurdles that we ran into with licensing, so they turned their direction to try and resolve the licensing issue for small businesses.

“We are actually their first licensed version,” he said. “Several dozen are in the works, but we’re the first to hit the market, so it’s pretty exciting.

More songs to come

It would be a monumental task, if not impossible, for an individual to secure music licensing rights, given the number of artists, collectives, record companies, publishers and others involved in the process. property, Adam said.

“It took the folks at Songclip over a year to work out the details of the deal” with many of the biggest labels and publishers in the industry, he said.

Other songs will continue to be added to the initial catalog. Songclip sends the Gardners lists of available songs and they choose which clips to use in each one.

“With the first group, it took me 11 hours to scroll through the song list,” Adam said.

His financial investment in Lyritext “is definitely in the six figures so far, and there will be a lot of investment going forward,” said Adam.

If the app starts to make money, “Apple and the music industry will make the bulk of it,” he said. “The more your app depends on music, the more they want it. At the end of the day, if we can get 6,000 or 7,000 subscribers, we break even. If we get 100,000 or a million, we’ll do just fine.

At this point, they might consider developing an app for Android users.

“We didn’t want to spend the money and time developing something for another platform until it was successful,” Adam said.

Lyritext is currently only available in the United States.

“Right now, Songclip is working on international rights and they think that in a year we will be ready to go to the whole world,” Adam said.

“Will people love Lyritext as much as we do?” I guess time will tell, ”Addie said. “But, whatever the outcome, the experience I had with my dad, seeing this project develop from a conversation on our way home from school to an app in the App Store has been invaluable. “

Shirley McMarlin is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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