We’ve already seen artists like Diplo drop unheard singles on Turntable.fm, and run quickly for cover when the crowd decided to lame it. But Matthew Santos, of the New York-based chamber pop orchestra Ra Ra Riot went one step further today, and debuted an entire album using the viral music service.
It would easy to dismiss this a a cynical marketing ploy in which a band leverages the music app du jour in order to get the biggest response on their new album’s first day. But Ra Ra Riot’s Matthew Santos saw it differently.
“It’s an important thing, you know? To be open to discovering and enjoying new music as an activity with both friends and other people whose taste you appreciate and trust,” Santos told Mashable’s Brenna Ehrlich. “This is basically the same thing, except it’s not limited to you and your friends’ record collections, and you guys don’t have to be in the same physical room.”
While Santos spun tracks from his new disk, four other DJs–sometimes fellow band members, sometimes fans–kicked in tracks from the likes of Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. The room quickly become one of the most popular on Turntable.fm, and fans seemed thrilled to chat with a member of the band they were hearing for the first time. “Confession, I played this in high school jazz band,” said Santos while spinning Birdland by Weather Report. The crowd responded with Awesomes.
The simplest analogy for this would be the listening party, but without the physical or geographic limitations of a real world venue. Plus, users who were enjoying the tracks actually purchased some by clicking through to the iTunes store, a transaction that drove revenue to Apple, the artist and Turntable.fm, a good sign for a start-up aiming to raise $5-10 million.