Turntable.fm has officially entered the big leagues. As of yesterday (March 13th), the music sharing site announced its licensing deal with major labels Warner, Universal, Sony and EMI. The move will likely bring Turntable one step closer to becoming a viable technology entity, widening the gap between similar competitors like Pandora and Spotify.
Founder Billy Chasen, and co-founder Seth Goldstein, explained the deal during their SXSW panel Turntable.FM: The Future of Music Is Social. “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,” Goldstein told Billboard. “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.”
Since its inception in January of 2011, Turntable has seen impressive gains, especially after launching an iPhone app in September. While Kanye West and Lady Gaga have both been named as early investors, the site has still been unable to beat its highest record of 207,000 unique visitors, reached last July. In comparison, Spotify snagged 1.1 million visitors during the same month, while internet radio juggernaut Pandora clocked 17.4 million visitors.
Turntable appeals to music fans, tech geeks, and hipsters alike in that it stands on the platform of interactive social DJing, combining streaming and chat rooms with the ability to perform for a virtual audience.
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