Alum syncs music with mobile games

By Michael Sugerman

Colin Beswick ’01 was profiled in a Billboard feature called “30 Under 30: The Young Execs You Need to Know” this July, in which he was recognized for his “considerable curative edge.”

Since 11th grade, Beswick knew that he wanted to work in music.

After managing his older brother Kyle’s ’98 band in college, he realized his interest in music law. While attending law school at Southwestern University, Beswick landed a job with Sony, where his interests headed in new directions.

“I took several classes in law school about video game and technology law, which I found fascinating,” he said. “I began thinking that if I fell out of love with music, I could be happy working in games.”

As he was finishing his last semester of law school in 2009, Beswick snagged a job with a company called Tapulous, which created the mobile application Tap Tap Revenge. Under Tapulous’ Head of Business Affairs Gwen Riley, the company became “one of the first influential application developers on the App Store,” Beswick said.

Tap Tap Revenge is a mobile application where a popular music track plays, and as it plays, colored balls slide rhythmically down the screen. At a certain line, one is supposed to tap the colored balls as accurately as possible to gain points.

Disney Mobile bought Tapulous in July 2010, and in September 2010, Beswick was named the Manager of Creative Content and Music Licensing of Tapulous.

He handpicks all of the music content that goes into Tap Tap. Beswick is a music enthusiast, so his job allows him to relish in his music interests.

“I watch new, breaking bands for our ‘Featured Track of the Week’ feature,” Beswick said. “We also sell packs of music in Tap Tap Revenge that are some of the biggest tracks in the world. I listen to music all day long.”

Beswick also handles the legal aspects of the track selection: he does all of the music licensing, working with record companies, artist management, and music publishers to acquire the rights to songs used in Tap Tap.

“It can be a challenge sometimes, because many major artists still aren’t that interested in the mobile space,” he said.

Beswick says some of his success was inspired by the confidence that Harvard-Westlake teachers gave him.

“Teachers like Stephen Bellon and Sharon Cuseo made me think I could achieve what I wanted to achieve,” he said. “And it was teachers like my Latin teacher Kathryn Price and my AP Art History teacher Carl Wilson who taught me that you really have to work for it.”

According to market research firm comScore, Tapulous applications have been installed over 70 million times — Tap Tap Revenge is Disney Mobile’s most successful game.

Beswick said that working his job, he learns something new every day, and is subsequently encouraged to be as creative as possible in his work.

“That’s inspiring,” he said.