Utah State students are working to change the music industry

By Lydia Velazquez

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Prodigy, the idea of Huntsman School of Business students Chase Roper and Michael Crane, is a new music streaming application that will focus on helping small artists succeed. The beta version of the app will be in trial in January and the full version will be available in the spring.

The app will combine aspects of SoundCloud and Spotify — listeners and artists will be able to have profiles, share music, and make playlists. There will be a newsfeed in which users can see who they’re following is listening to and a trending feed to see what music is trending, or very popular at the moment. Prodigy’s trending music will be determined by “hits,” or likes, rather than number of streams like other services.

“Usually, trending algorithms are based off of someone listens to your song for a certain amount of time,” said Roper, Prodigy’s chief executive officer. “By giving a hit to someone, you have to listen to the song and then you have to click and give it a hit and the algorithm is based of how many hits you have, not how many listens.”

Artists will also have a geolocation on their profile, allowing users to search artists by name as well as location. This will allow users to find local artists in the area.

“We’re basically becoming a manager for the masses,” Roper said. “If you were to have a personal manager, he would be looking for places for you to get exposure, looking for places for you to be able to grow your brand and everything like that. Through our algorithms, we’re giving them exposure.”

The app’s team is currently on the small side, but team members said they have a passion for improving the music industry.

“It’s important for artists with talent to get recognized regardless of the money they may or may not have,” said Ari Romo-Gonzalez, Prodigy’s talent searcher. “Prodigy is truly for the artist. It’s about time local talent gets their big break.”

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