Music is a vibrant social institution that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. There’s Spotify for archiving music, Shazam for identifying it, and Soundcloud for sharing it; and, as of this month, there’s finally an app for live streaming it.
Vertigo is the latest social music platform to hit the app store. Once you spare thirty seconds to create an account, the app asks you to import your top Spotify playlists and broadcast them—with commentary—to followers. How swanky. To avoid legal traps around public performance and distribution, Vertigo connects to users’ premium accounts and merely activates songs that those users already have a right to listen to. Now, you can experience that fire new Chainsmokers song beat-for-beat in real-time with friends, family, and other Vertigo users while messaging about the tunes in order to experience both music and life together. The best part? The general awkwardness of splitting earbuds is no more.
Sound is meant to be shared. Vertigo is the perfect way to tell everybody about that catchy song you have on endless repeat or share your shadiness about your last breakup with the world through conveniently relevant lyrics. As you broadcast your songs, you can view and scroll through live feedback from your band of listeners. If you’re more into sitting back and seeing what others have to offer, you can connect to people’s streams and see what music they’re into and let them know what you think about their taste. Some curators – the term Vertigo enforces in place of “users” – have already generated thousands of active followers.
The social communication component places Vertigo in the arena with multi-million user apps like Musical.ly and DubSmash. Vertigo, like these other music apps, targets Gen Z as their dominant user. If you think Millennials struggle to look away from their phones, try having a conversation with an 8th grader. Their generation is totally disciplined to sharing a majority of their lives in the digital world, yet they also demonstrate the desire to personalize the content they’re exposed to. (See: desperate attempts at socialization via Instagram comments.) Gen Z is basically ground zero when deciding which new, hot social media platforms will succeed or not.
Snapchat’s success stems from the same phenomenon of young users wanting to broadcast experiences with each other as they happen live. It’s now first-nature to whip out your phone and tap the little ghost icon anytime something remotely interesting is unfolding in front of you. Picture: the same reactions, but to music.
While Vertigo may very well be feeding the social media addiction epidemic, the concept behind it is actually dope. It’s a direct interaction with music in place of passive listening. In a world where everyone not only has an opinion on everything but feels the need to share it, too, the minds behind Vertigo seem to be far from dizzy.