I found out about Turntable.fm though the music industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz newsletter I’m all about sharing music (duh, I have a blog) so I was intrigued how the new breed of social media for music might work. After a few days of trying it out I have to admit it’s pretty engaging and, in my case as a music geek, quite addicting.
In broad strokes Turntable.fm isa place to share and compare music. It’s invite only but if a friend in your Facebook network is a member then you will gain access. The user takes the form is a cutesy animated avatar you can “enter” rooms (mine is called Twang nation Jamboree, natch) The rooms are with themes generally though sometimes the theme is pretty blurry since users create the rooms. Each room feature 5 spaces on a stage that allows users to use a playlist, which you painstakingly create by searching for music on the site’s impressive database. Luckily the playlists are saved for return visits because a lot of work can go into creating one. You can then take the stage and play for people, as well as other DJs, that enter the room to listen. A voting mechanism is provided to support (Awesome) or detract (Lame) the song being played. Support of the songs add to the DJ’s cred, or “points”, and you can become a fan of that DJ and will be emailed whenever he/she comes back to Turntable.fm to play music.
The multiple DJ collaboration is well known in the hip-hop and techno genres, in country, roots and Americana the closest analogy is a guitar pull.
Yes the site is targeted at youth and by the looks of the room names (techno and indy rock dominate) it’s working. But the social element of playing and sharing music with other like-minded people transcends age. Watching themes emerge and a spirit of competitive one-upmanship that occurs as the music plays on is pretty intoxicating when it hits a stride. I’ve discovered a lot of music I might not have through the community being formed in the room.
I’m not sure how it will effect the free-fall of the music industry but Turntable.fm is a pretty cool way to spend your time while we all figure it out.