We recently reviewed Rormix app. It’s a fantastic app for iOS and Android that shows videos of emerging and relatively unknown artists. The best part is that videos are shown as per your taste. We were actually quite impressed by this app, and thought of getting in touch with the CEO to better understand thought behind making this app.
This fella goes by the name of Amman Ahmed (see his photo below), and is just 27 years old. He graduated from The University of Manchester with a degree in Information Systems Engineering. And Rormix is actually not his first venture. He started his entrepreneurial journey by setting up a website called Roundwaves. We checked out this website, and saw, that among other things, it has music to relax your dog! (dude.. what were you thinking?).
So, for your reading pleasure, here is edited version of the interview:
ILFS: How did the idea for this app originate?
Amman: While building roundwav.es, I started taking notice of the unsigned music video scene. I saw high quality content being uploaded by these artists yet there was no tailored approach or platform to support this type of content. At the same time I was seeing fragmentation in social but not in video, it was just YouTube, Vimeo and Daily motion. I knew that fragmentation would move into video, I predicted that people would go to specific types of platforms for specific types of content. It’s so much easier for the content creator and the user to explore and grow when you have a strong emphasis around one type of content.
We were first going to build a web platform but looking at the growth metric of mobile video, we just skipped that step and went straight ahead focusing all our effort on building an app.
ILFS: The app doesn’t have any ads. What sort of monetization plans do you guys have?
Amman: We plan on monetizing by creating additional services for the artists and an ad based system targeted towards video discovery.
ILFS: How are artists selected to be featured into the trending, fresh sections etc.?
Amman: We welcome artists from all genres to be part of our app, but they all have one thing in common: they have high quality music videos. Our team members personally revise and approve every submission before they can go on the app to ensure a quality experience for the users, and make sure all the videos find the right target audience.
Trending is based on user feedback, so the most liked track on the app will appear as number 1, the second most liked video as number 2, etc.
Fresh is simply a list of the latest videos added, where the top video would be the one most recently added.
ILFS: Apart from iOS and Android, Rormix has an app for the relatively new Firefox OS as well, but no app exists for Windows Phone and Blackberry 10? Why so?
Amman: Based on a thorough market research we found that the vast majority of our potential users are on iOS or Android. We developed our initial product, our MVP for these platforms in a short period of time wanting to push it out there and see if there was indeed a demand for it. The Android app is currently still the first version, a major update is coming out on Friday, 2 May.
We recently won an opportunity to develop the app for the yet to be released Firefox phones, which will be sold in developing countries, so we took our chance to expand into those countries as well.
We are open to investigating to possibility of developing for Windows and Blackberry 10 if we see there’s a demand for them. For the time being these users can go to rormix.com/videos from their phones’ browser and reach the mobile optimized version of our web app.
ILFS: Where are you based out of?
Amman: We’re based in Manchester, UK.
ILFS: How many people are involved in the app development?
Amman: There are two developers doing the actual coding, but the whole team is responsible for the app functionality and design wise.
ILFS: Tell us something about yourself. Who are you?
Amman: I started my journey with a £1000 student loan and a crazy idea. In my final year, not wanting to go into a graduate job, I started my first business. The idea was to create music to help people sleep and this lead me into an unproven market. Even with £1k, it was difficult to get the business off the ground.
By doing a revenue share with artists in developing countries, together we started creating music to help people sleep. I built the online business by focusing on YouTube before getting enough traffic to become a partner. I replicated the model and created more brands: concentration, relaxation, and even music for cats and dogs. Now under the roundwaves.com umbrella the network achieves 2.5 million monthly views along with continuous international press.
While working on roundwaves.com, I came across many great unsigned music videos and realized the market lacked a platform tailored especially to emerging artists’ needs. YouTube has become so saturated that without an enormous marketing budget most of these videos disappear in the ocean of content. From there it was a straight road to the birth of Rormix.
ILFS: And we are glad that you had that thought. We love Rormix, and hope users love it too. Nice talking to you.