In February, pandodaily featured a blog on Turntable.fm: It’s Time for Another Turntable.fm Pivot. Author Erin Griffith wrote
“The problem is, for all its hype, Turntable is proving to have the same problems as Stickybits. It’s really cool. No one is denying that. Stickybits was cool too. But ultimately, it’s a novelty.”
I agree with Erin, especially for the mass audience who listens to top 40, 80’s music, or other stuff you can easily find on the FM dial, on Pandora or Spotify. Turntable.fm loses it’s excitement after a few days if this is your favorite music.
I use Turntable.fm almost everyday. I never listen to Pandora or Spotify. The lasting value I get from Turntable.fm is because I listen solely to live music (which is not found on those other channels). Whether is it Phish, other “jam bands”, or classic rock, that’s pretty much all I listen to. I’m not alone. Take a look at the top rooms on Turntable.fm at noon on a Tuesday
Do you recognize any of those artists? No, neither do I. It turns out that Turntable.fm is appealing to fans of music who don’t listen to the Top 40. These listeners appreciate music that is different, that changes everyday, and new artists who embody that spirit. Even though I mostly like rock, I’ll jump into the Ambient room here and there because I can appreciate some good improv.
So Here’s My Killer Idea - Virtual Live Concerts
I’ll graciously give away my killer idea to the folks at Turntable.fm :-). I think Turntable.fm should focus on these users. My hypothesis is that all of them share something in common: they like “different” music, really appreciate a good live track, and probably see their favorite bands a number of times live each year. They’d love to discover new music in their genre, but might not have enough time to get out.
On nights that Phish plays, the PhantasyTour Phish Message Board is on fire. Links are shared to people using their iPhones to stream the live concert over uStream. Setlist threads are topping out at 499 posts every 5-10 minutes.
How Would It Work?
Phish would be a great band to target because of it’s rabid fan base and the band’s general willingness to turn the other cheek when someone shares their music. They understand what the web has done to the music industry so they are willing to give away their music because they really make their money on the live concert experience and merchandise.
For the next Phish concert, get one of the many tapers in the audience who is sharing a live audio stream to pipe it to Turntable’s servers so one or more rooms can be made featuring that stream. Let people make rooms so they can chat about the show, click the Awesome button, change up their avatars to stand out, etc. You could even have people spinning some pre-show and setbreak music in between the live sets.
Not only would this bring in an influx of new users, I think it could prove that Turntable.fm could be a viable platform for live concerts. Since the music industry is moving towards live shows as the monetizable product, Turntable.fm could be the primary platform for niche bands and eventually the big names too. It’s fun, interactive, and allows people to (virtually) experience the best about music: live shows.