Turntable.fm’s founder Seth Goldstein is a sharp guy who’s had his hand in more than one brilliant startup. He was an original investor in del.icio.us which was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, he started socialmedia.com, and he’s “Entrepreneur in residence” at Fred Wilson‘s investment firm Flatiron Partners (which recently invested in Turntable.fm).
If you think that resume describes him as an insightful person with an interesting perspective, you might like this video of an interview with him at Billboard’s Future of Sound Conference.
Are you familiar with turntable.fm? The latest hip streaming music startup is getting funding from Fred Wilson‘s Union Square Ventures. It’s Internet radio gone social, and it’s getting lots of buzz. Founded by Seth Goldstein and Billy Chasen, both of whom have been around digital startups before, this site has a social twist that should help it build an audience.
Listeners can choose to listen in any number of “listening rooms” or create their own and invite their friends. It’s still in beta, you need to already know someone who is in (and be friends with them on facebook) to get invited. But even that seems to be part of the cache – and they already have more than 300,000 users.
Turntable.fm is the kind of site that could even be compatible with other streaming music sites. Paste Magazine recently held a listening party for English folk-rock band Slow Club’s upcoming disc Paradise. And why couldn’t any DJ or station do the same? Host a listening party, invite your listeners, and let turntable.fm pay the royalties.
I’m intrigued by the idea that some of these emerging streaming platforms are compatible rather than competitive with other music platforms. I know a lot of folks, particularly in the broadcast industry, subscribe to the “walled garden” way – but perhaps it’s possible to use turntable.fm to extend your station’s brand and your relationship with your audience, without having to build it yourself. Maybe a place like turntable.fm is where everyone goes when they want to hang out and listen with friends.
If you have a station and give it a try, please let me know..
Fred Wilson apparently thinks it’s a good year to invest in streaming audio and has announced investments in two companies this week as an indication of this. His company Union Square Ventures just is heading up an $8 million funding round for digital audio advertising company TargetSpot. Other investors in that group include CBSRadio, Bain Capital Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners. It’s not Union Square‘s first money in Targetspot, nor for CBSRadio or Bain.
Wilson’s Union Square Ventures also announced an investment in Berlin based Soundcloud, which bills itself as the YouTube for audio. According to Soundcloud founder Alexander Lyung, the site had a million registered users last spring and 2.6 million by the end of the year, so it’s growing pretty fast.
“There has not been a wildly popular open audio sharing platform with simple APIs like YouTube and Vimeo in video, Facebook and Flickr in photos, Blogger and WordPress in long form text, and Twitter in short form text/link sharing.” says Wilson in his blog. “We think SoundCloud is on its way to becoming that wildly popular open platform for audio expression and sharing on the web and mobile devices. A few months ago, Union Square Ventures… invested in SoundCloud and I have joined the Board.”
Wilson is a guy that likes his music. He puts songs he likes on his daily blog, along with quotes and pictures. He also has a radio station you can stream, fredwilson.fm . Mostly, I think he’s a guy that thinks a lot about music and the Internet, and right now he’s thinking it’s a good investment…