Smule buys fellow music app creator Khush

Dec 01, 2011 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Smule, maker of apps such as Glee Karaoke, is hoping to make beautiful music with fellow app creator Khush through an acquisition announced Thursday.

In an interview Wednesday, Smule Inc. CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Smith said the goal of combining the two companies is to democratize the creation of musical content and distribution. Smith said it is a cash-and-stock deal, though precise terms are not being disclosed.

"Neither side really sees it as an exit, but more of an opportunity to scale faster," he said.

The companies have 27 million customers combined, 8.5 million of which come from Khush. A total of 350 million pieces of music have been created between them.

Khush Inc., which grew out of the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Lab, has thus far focused on making music apps that use . It offers three including Songify, a free app that records a user's speech and spits it out as a song (users can buy additional tunes to expand the app's capabilities). Another app, LaDiDa, sells for $2.99 and does its best to turn a user's singing into a pitch-corrected song. The company is profitable, CEO Prerna Gupta said.

Palo Alto-based Smule, which makes music apps for the iPhone and , has a similar business model. It sells apps such as Ocarina, a 99-cent app that lets users "play" their smartphone like a flute. The app can also be used to . Other apps, like Glee Karaoke, are free and allow users to buy additional in-app items. Glee Karaoke users, for example, can purchase more songs to sing. Smule is not yet profitable, Smith said.

The companies began working together over the summer by showing ads for Khush's Songify app within Smule's Magic Piano and vice versa, Smith said. He said about 20 percent of people who used one would try the other, which made the companies feel confident that combining would be beneficial.

Khush will continue to be run out of Atlanta and will operate somewhat autonomously, the companies said.

Explore further: Blink, point, solve an equation: Introducing PhotoMath

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A musical hit for the iPhone

Mar 26, 2009

The iPhone is many things - business device, gaming console, instant-messenger buddy. Ge Wang turned it into a flute.

Spotify opens up to app developers

Nov 30, 2011

Spotify announced Wednesday that outside developers can create applications for the popular online music service and unveiled partnerships with Rolling Stone, SongKick, TuneWiki and others.

HTML5 OS is set to disrupt platform lock-in

Sep 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Canada-based startup founded in November 2010 arrived at TechCrunch Disrupt last week to debut its "HTML5 operating system" called Carbyn. To get this system, there is nothing to install; ...

Recommended for you

Oculus Rift users to see Moon live through robot

52 minutes ago

A group from Carnegie Mellon wants to send a robot to the Moon to beam live pictures of the Moon to Oculus Rift headset users, reported technology reporter Jane Wakefield of the BBC. Andy the robot is intended ...

A blue Christmas for Amazon?

57 minutes ago

It might be a blue Christmas for Amazon. The world's largest retailer gave a disappointing forecast for the crucial holiday quarter. The company also reported a wider loss than analysts expected for the third ...

US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

2 hours ago

A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labor regulators found eight employees brought from India were grossly underpaid and overworked while assigned to a special project in ...

User comments : 0