You don't have to be a garage rocker or a karaoke bar savant to appreciate music. We all love, listen to, talk about and share music.
Of course, in this day and age, people aren't hanging out at the town record store to hear about the next big act. They're logging on to Internet music services the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
If you've listened to Internet radio on iTunes, Pandora, or Spotify you've probably heard advertising, but a new competitor has changed the game. Turntable.fm is a user run DJ democracy that lets individuals interact directly with one another, and play songs based not only on themes and genres, but also on personal interaction. Turntable.fm is focusing on putting the user and love of music first, and leaves the experience completely devoid of advertising (for the time being).
Buzz is great, and the user base for Turntable is growing, but in the end someone's got to pay for all of this. Some big names in the business have started to take notice and the list of contributors thus far is quite impressive. The managers of Madonna and Gaga, Jimmy Fallon, members of The Roots, and others have pooled together a cool $7 million to keep the Turntable project going.
At this point the future is uncertain for Turntable. Some question the legality of social music sharing, and some labels are hesitant to jump on board. Other labels, such as major indie label Glassnote are more open to social promotion and will receive some special treatment from the Turntable crew as a result. Turntable's Seth Goldstein recently spoke at Billboard's FutureSound Conference, sharing that the site will press on through label restrictions to enrich its existing features (Twitter connectivity just launched!) and move out of beta status by 2012's South by Southwest Festival.
[Contributed by Alex Lockwood, Senior Designer]