With groundwork laid in Northeastern Pennsylvania, locally created app Tunefly is ready to spread its wings and visit other parts of the United States.
The social media music-sharing platform, designed to bridge the gap between user-friendly streaming services and artist-friendly sharing platforms, will take a 10-city Tunefly Tour across the country March 25 through April 8, and the Tunefly team is excited to share its 3.0 version.
Created by Samuel O’Connell, of Dallas, and Matt Simoncavage, of Nanticoke, Tunefly was launched in May of 2016. The app allows professional musicians, hobbyists and music lovers to interact on a platform that offers users a chance to record and share music, search according to their tastes and follow each other.
Tunefly Chief Financial Officer Lyz Klein said the social media aspect of Tunefly makes it unique in online music sharing.
“There are the Spotifys and Pandoras, which are the streaming platforms that do a really good job of helping listeners, but the musicians on there are all top 40 or people with record labels or affiliates,” Klein said. “And there are the platforms for artists to get themselves out there like Bandcamp and ReverbNation, but nothing brings the two together.”
O’Connell, Tunefly’s CEO, said the app has reached a plateau where there aren’t enough artists using the platform to attract more listeners and there isn’t a large enough listener base to attract more artists.
“We’ve been incubating here in NEPA,” O’Connell said. “We often say … that pretty much anybody from NEPA who is going to be on the app as far as bands (is) on there now. We’re ready to grow beyond the area.”
The 3.0 version of the app, submitted to app stores for approval on Jan. 28, has significant updates, O’Connell said.
Simoncavage created the first version of the app and continues to build it as Tunefly’s chief technology officer.
The latest version has a recorder for Android devices, which Simoncavage said is an improvement over 2.0 on which only iPhones had the ability to record a song and upload it directly to the app.
Director of sales, Charlie Lukasavage said having Simoncavage to preside over development allows for tailoring Tunefly according to customer feedback.
“Having Matt in house here … makes it very easy for us to be nimble and natural with updates and tinkering with the app based on time and user interactions, finding out what people need and what they want,” Lukasavage said.
The Tunefly Tour, which starts in Philadelphia and stops in several cities throughout the south before reaching Los Angeles, Calif. and returning through northern cities on the way back to Wilkes-Barre, will be in collaboration with Wilkes-Barre musician Jordan Ramirez and his Going Up? Records label.
Ramirez has already partnered with the Tunefly team to build a recording studio in Kingston to complement its headquarters in the Twin Stacks Center in Dallas.
Jordan’s “coming on the road with us, and we’ll be recording local artists from each state,” O’Connell said.
Ramirez, who utilizes a wealth of talent to create his own original music while also fronting local rock band Half Dollar and recording fellow area musicians, said he’s inspired by the effort of the Tunefly team.
“The (folks) at Tunefly are so genuinely invested in original music and the creative process,” Ramirez said. “I started the label on my own, but without Sam’s help and initiative, it wouldn’t be growing the way that it is. Shining some light on this area’s music scene is the primary motivator for our efforts.”
O’Connell, who has a background in filmmaking, will also be putting together a documentary of the artists his team encounters during the tour, artists who’ll be promoted across Tunefly’s platform.
“We used NEPA as a guinea pig, and we just absorbed everything and fell in,” Lukasavage said. “Now we’re going to try to do that in quick, short bursts across the country.”