Purdue graduate's social media app helps users connect with friends and find new music through smart phones

September 25, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Caktus Music Inc., a social music startup, has developed a mobile app program that allows people to explore new music, share what they are listening to and connect with friends using an integrated music player available free through the App Store.

The app allows users to share their music in real time on a map-based interface with friends, makes following favorite bands and discovering new music easier.

"When a person opens the Caktus app and plays a song, a pin is automatically dropped on a map so Facebook and Twitter friends can see what the person is listening to," said Keith Williams, a Purdue University alumnus and co-founder of Caktus. "Users can then tap on their friends' pins to play previews and purchase songs."

Williams said Caktus gives users direct access to their iTunes library, local media files, and in the next update, SoundCloud tracks as well, all through the Caktus music player.

"This multi-platform integration gives users the ability to create custom playlists with music from multiple sources played through Caktus," he said. "We see it as part of a music ecosystem. When users play music, the app identifies those tracks and provides that information to the in-app map and social network, which then presents that music to other users who might tap on that pin and listen to it through Caktus, which starts the system over again. It's a musical circle of life."

Williams said the app is a strong resource for the music industry as well.

"The app gives bands and music labels a global stage where they can promote songs, albums, concerts and merchandise directly to users," he said. "Caktus is a great opportunity for both existing and up-and-coming-talent to connect with listeners and music labels, and a source for fan demographics from around the world."

Other Caktus co-founders are Dane Regnier and Chase Acton, and the company continues to grow with several more employees joining the team in the past few months.

The app's next big addition in the works is Spotify integration, where users would be able to access their Spotify library alongside the iTunes and SoundCloud tracks, all through Caktus' in-app music player.

Caktus Music is receiving assistance through the Purdue Foundry, a startup and commercialization hub in Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship that helps Purdue innovators create and grow successful new businesses.

"I am a proud Purdue alumnus and we have several other Purdue alumni working on various parts of the company. We have received a tremendous amount of support and guidance through the Purdue Foundry," Williams said. "They not only have connected us with clients and investors, but have also been a great sounding board for our business plan, marketing work, and networking efforts.”

About Caktus Music Inc.

Caktus is the world's first true social music player, allowing users to play music from within the app and see what their friends are listening to in real time. The company has more than 10 employees who are committed to positively impacting the lives of users and musicians by connecting people through music.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org 

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

Source:  Keith Williams, 765.409.332, keith@caktusmusic.com

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