App aims to put Madison on the music map

(NBC15)
Published: Jul. 28, 2018 at 7:59 PM CDT
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A group of University of Wisconsin graduates, students, and their friends have teamed up to create a music app they hope rivals streaming giants by giving users the opportunity to discover new artists and music.

The app is called LÜM, which stands for Live Undiscovered Music. The app is designed to provide users with different feeds, such as their own streaming music, the music their friends are listening to, and music users in the area are listening to. This is meant to promote local and undiscovered artists.

The LÜM team, many of whom are from the Madison area, are aiming to make Madison a music destination, according to LÜM Artist Lead Endre Krumholz.

"We want to hit a very niche group of people and solidify ourselves in this community," Krumholz said. "Especially being from Madison, we want to make Madison the next music mecca."

LÜM CEO Max Fergus said that one of the biggest aims of the app is to challenge streaming systems like Spotify and SoundCloud by allowing users to have more say in the music they listen to.

In linking artists, their fan bases, and users through social networks, Krumholz said he hopes the app creates a community.

"Fans and friends are able to share and engage and discuss what is going to be the next up and coming artist as opposed to being told by corporate labels who the next up and coming artist is going to be," said Krumholz.

The company has raised capital mostly from angel investors in Madison, but in the beginning stages, Fergus said his family wasn't on board with his decision to forgo his post-grad plans to work in finance in New York to focus on LÜM.

"He basically told me that he would disown me," Fergus said of his father, who is now a mentor for the team. "He was like, you can't do that, you know. The feel good part of the story is that months later he said if you didn't pursue LÜM, you'd be making a huge mistake."

The team has continued to grow, expanding to representatives on college campuses.

"Not only are we really excited about building this app but we're really excited about using it," said Fergus. "We're part of the demographic that we're appealing to and that's really exciting."

The app will launch on August 17, and LÜM will be hosting a launch party on Monona Terrace with live music.