Music-making app Voisey dumped amid Snapchat owner’s wide-scale restructuring

Voisey, a TikTok-like music app that Snap Inc. acquired in November 2020, is among the many apps and projects that the Snapchat owner plans to offload or close as part of its wide-scale restructuring.

In a memo on August 31, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that the company is planning to lay off about 20% of its workforce and recalibrate its business to focus on growing its community, revenue and developing augmented reality.

The memo noted that projects that don’t directly contribute to these areas “will be discontinued or receive substantially reduced investment.”

As such, Spiegel said, “we have made the decision to discontinue our investments in Snap Originals, Minis, Games, and Pixy, among other areas. We have also started the process of winding down the standalone applications Zenly and Voisey.”

Voisey confirmed the decision, issuing a notice on its website that it has been discontinued on Monday (September 5).

Voisey users will still be able to download their content and other data from October 17 before they are permanently deleted from the Voisey database.

However, creators’ songs that are featured in Snapchat’s Sounds library will remain on that platform.

“We have started the process of winding down the standalone applications Zenly and Voisey.”

Evan Spiegel, Snap

Voisey, dubbed the “TikTok for creating music” by some, features a TikTok-like experience that lets music producers upload short loops of songs that users can pick and sing in a loop. They can add vocal effects or sing with others in split-screen like TikTok’s duet feature.

The appeal of Voisey to musicians and producers led to the signing of a long-term global recording deal with California-based Voisey user Olivia Knight, better known as poutyface, with Island Records and a worldwide publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music in late 2020.

Voisey was founded by Norwegian and English music industry entrepreneurs Olly Barnes (Universal Music, Rdio, Space Ape Games), Erlend Hausken (Soundio, Vibble, Opera), Pål Wagtskjold-Myran (Soundio, Vibble) and Dag Langfoss-Håland (Sony Music, Soundio, Vibble) in 2018.

With investments from several high-profile backers including IE music co-founder Tim Clark, Platoon founder Denzyl Feigelson, Spirit Music;s Rak Sanghvi and Velocity Communications founder Andy Saunders, Voisey attracted interest from Snap Inc., which bought the startup in November 2020 for an undisclosed amount.

According to Voisey’s website, it is “not a revenue-generating platform and makes no money.”

“Our focus is entirely on empowering creativity and building a community… We are currently supported entirely by investors,” Voisey said, adding that it also does not pay royalties.

Voisey’s financial results are not publicly available as Snap Inc. doesn’t include them in its quarterly updates.

The company’s latest memo announcing the job cuts also did not disclose the number of Voisey staff that are part of the layoffs.

Apart from Voisey, Snap Inc. is also discontinuing Zenly, a social mapping app that the company acquired for more than $200 million in 2017.

Snap Inc.’s restructuring and layoffs comes amid a tech sector-wide job shedding as tech firms tackle rising inflation and prepare for a looming global recession. Other tech firms that have either disclosed or were reported to have carried out layoffs include Soundcloud and TikTok.Music Business Worldwide