"Pivot" is sometimes viewed as a dirty word in the tech world, but for Billy Chasen, the willingness to switch from one project to the next has proven to be key to his success.
Turntable today introduced Piki, a Pandora-like, human-powered radio app combined with powerful Twitter-inspired social features. With Piki, the most impressive part is that Turntable is one of the first music startups to get social right. The company has been working on the brand-new service for a year.
The appeal of social music platform Turntable.fm has been its synchronous music listening in public dance rooms. Anyone can become the MC, playing the tunes and playlists of their choice, just as each listener can choose their own avatar, or chat with other music junkies in realtime. And now tech and startup geeks have a new feature to get excited about: Turntable quietly announced via blog post today that users can add stickers from their startup of choice to their laptops while dropping those mad ill beats.
From the outset, the biggest appeal of social music platform Turntable.fm has been its synchronous listening in public rooms where anyone can become the dee-jay. Of course, turn back the clock six months, and Turntable probably didn't see Facebook as a competitor. However, at f8 the social network launched Turntable-inspired synchronous listening and chat and went public with some big partnerships with the likes of Spotify and Rdio. At the time, Turntable could only grin and say "thank you," but now the startup can reply with some big guns of its own, as it announced deals with the "Big Four" record labels-- Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, and Warner-- at SXSW today.
Regardless of where you stand on the SOPA battle, you've got to agree: seeing what seems to be the entire Internet come together to stand against something is incredible. Each company has a different approach, but their goal is the same: make sure everyone goes to sleep knowing what SOPA is. While I don’t want to turn today’s protests into a who-did-it-best battle (that’s not at all the point), I’ve got to highlight Turntable.fm’s approach. It’s about as simple as could be, but it just oozes with symbolism.
(Founder Stories) Turntable.fm's Billy Chasen
When we first invited Billy Chasen to join us on Founder Stories he was working hard to make his startup, Stickybits a success. Turns out it never took off. But like many founders, Chasen bounced back and found better luck elsewhere. In this case it's with Turntable.fm-- a platform where people play DJ online and share music with others in virtual rooms.
Experiencing music as a social activity used to mean going to a concert, or maybe a party. And to learn about new music or artists in the days of yore, you had radio, record shops, or the much-fabled mix tape.
Received $7M Series A Funding
Participation Union Square Ventures, Troy Carter, Jimmy Fallon, Tim Kendall, Courtney Holt, Guy Oseary, Lowercase Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Vivi Nevo
Group music listening service Turntable that rose from the ashes of Stickybits is the company everyone is buzzing about. The startup is only four months old but it caught the eye of investors right at the very beginning, and the founders even had their pick of which VCs they want to work with.
For the past few months, few things on the web have been hotter than Turntable.fm. The Stickybits pivot got so hot, so fast, that a “trough of disillusionment” was inevitable — and we've probably been seeing that the past couple of weeks. But something is coming very shortly that should supercharge the service once again: an iPhone app.
It all started when an intriguing blog post sent me wandering in Turntable's direction. Because it's still in its beta phase and relatively new, you need to have a Facebook friend who uses it already to join. Luckily for me, at least one of my friends had already taken the plunge, and in I walked. What I found was an all-you-can-eat buffet of music. And I was hungry!
Let's get some obvious stuff out of the way: 1. Listening to music is fun. 2. Listening to music with friends is more fun. 3. Listening to music with friends, free, is the most fun.
The hottest new club isn't in Los Angeles or New York. It's on a Web site called Turntable.fm, where big-headed cartoon characters populate the D.J. booth.
On Thursday, June 30, Kelly Reeves sent out an invitation to her 1,900 followers on Twitter to join her on Turntable.fm—a new, social media website that lets users share songs with friends and strangers while publicly celebrating each other's musical tastes. “DJing in the Shameless POP! Room,” Reeves wrote. “Come hang out. Now playing *NSYNC.”
What's a surefire sign that a web service has hit the big time? Well, when the celebrities start to pile on of course! The guys behind GiantThinkwell and the Mixnmatch game have teamed up with the Grammy award winning producer, emcee and lover of the natural female form Sir Mix-Alot for a rare Turntable.fm performance celebrating the game's launch.
Have you heard of Turntable.fm? If you haven't, then let me tell you that it is cool, and might represent where the web is going. Turntable.fm is a New York City-based social music listening and discovery service that is spreading on the web like wildfire. The idea behind the service is pretty simple: You sign-up by using your Facebook credentials, create a music listening room and invite people to come join you in the room.
A magical “wow” moment just happened this week, and it’s Turntable.fm. The early adopting tech elites are eating this site up, just as they did Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, and others. Barring some awful interference, this app is going to break big and change things.
Stickybits is an iPhone app which encourages you to check into products by scanning their barcodes. Originally, the idea behind Stickybits was broader and encouraged consumers to attach their own barcodes to objects and places, and use the app to upload photos, videos and messages which others can unlock by scanning the code. The app still does that, but the company recently pivoted to focus more on existing product barcodes and get brands to drive adoption through incentives and rewards.
NYC-based StickyBits has been rolling out major promotions over the past two weeks, and fans of the the barcode-scanning app are reaping the rewards. Ben and Jerry's is offering a free t-shirt when you scan a pint; Altoids was giving away $10 iTunes gift cards.
Foursquare and Facebook Places are popularizing the location check-in. Instagram and PicPlz are perfecting the photo check-in. Is the product check-in next? Billy Chasen, the founder of barcode-scanning app Stickybits, thinks so. He's spent the past few months pivoting his startup to focus more on brands and turn product check-ins into rewards. A major update of Stickybits is in the App Store (iTunes link), and an Android update will be ready before the end of the year. Its website also has a new design.
Youth is wasted on the young, except in the digital space, where you launch new media ventures, exploit bleeding-edge technologies and sometimes get bought by Google.
It used to be that the only time you'd notice a bar code was at a store, maybe when a cashier scanned your groceries. But lately bar codes are showing up in more places around town - and getting more sophisticated. You might have seen one cousin of the traditional bar code: Known as a QR code, this jumble of little squares randomly arranged within a larger square is popping up on everything from bus stop billboards to restaurant windows. If you spot one and snap it with your cell phone camera, the device can show you a website, photo or video related to the advertiser.