Remember that thing that everyone was doing last summer? No, not artisanal cocaine. It was a website called Turntable.fm which featured all the fun of DJ’ing an actual party with your friends without the whole pesky “having friends” thing or “a party” or even “taste.” You basically add a song to an ongoing playlist and then people ‘vote’ on it while it plays; the room gives you instant feedback and you acquire points which you can use to make your avatar look fancy, all while playing songs with your friends. The songs are streamed online. It’s all very democratic and the kids love it. It got huge very fast around July of last year and since the users have tapered off, although not without getting the attention of the music industry first.
The site signed deals with Universal, EMI, Warner, and Sony. In an interview with Billboard, co-founder Seth Goldstein said: “This feels like an all-time record speed launch – when we launched we really didn’t come at this from the music industry, it was all new to us. Our model is unique – we’re not a radio service, not an on-demand service. We have interesting aspects that really require some out-of-the-box thinking. We felt that from the get-go the labels were absolutely different from what I’d been led to believe. They gave us a lot of time and attention. Compared to their user base, we’re a tiny service in the broad scheme of things.”
Funnily enough, this announcement is timed perfectly with the annual SXSW festival. Fancy that!