Anyone who knows me knows I'm all about solving problems. That's my thing. There's a problem, here are the facts, here's the solution. It's almost always a technical solution.
So when I was presented with the problem of making it easier to make background music for YouTube videos, I built Harmonious Studio.
Technically, its a good solution – it lets you mix individual loopable instruments into a single track. Behind the scenes, it uses a the Web Audio API to manage the individual tracks in the browser and ffmpeg to prepare the final high-quality download.
The question is: what now?
The original plan was to allow others to upload their tracks and create a marketplace for music – basically positioning Harmonious Studio as "Shutterstock for Music". There are several options for this – monthly subscription for unlimited downloads, fee per premium track, fee per download.
There are a few problems with this, however.
1. Free is better
There is a huge amount of free music available online. Every week there's a post on /r/gamedev where a composer gives away thousands of tracks for free. The majority of responses I got from the feedback form I asked for on Harmonious fell into the segment "Yes, I use background music. No, I'd never pay for it".
2. Good enough is good enough
The idea was that content creators would be able to make music to fit their content exactly. However, getting something instantly for free that almost fits is preferable to making something custom that costs time and money. Kind of obvious when you think about it.
3. If it works, keep it
The other piece of feedback I got from YouTubers was that, once they've found a piece of music that works, they're more likely to copy-paste it into the next video than get a new one. Once they've got 3 or 4 'go-to' tracks, they've got everything they need for most kinds of videos.
So... what now?
It's a good technical solution to a problem without a good market. This is usually the point where the insightful entrepreneur pivots and relaunches using the tech in a completely new way. Anyone have any suggestions about how to do that?