The New Newness
Silicon Alley is buzzing for tonight’s fashionable tech fete, the runway party to Raise Cache for HackNY. The DJs for tonight’s event will rocking the house via Turntable.fm, which bestowed special avatars on Fred Wilson, Andy Weissman, Dennis Crowley, Dave Goldberg and Lauren Leto.
Betabeat chatted with Turntable.fm co-founder Billy Chasen, who will also be spinning tonight. “To be honest, I’ve never really been a DJ in real life,” Mr. Chasen said. “It’s a little intimidating.”
Online, however, he has no such hang ups. “When I am DJing on Turntable.fm and a whole room is listening to what I want them to, people pressing the awesome button, that’s just a powerful feeling.”
Livestream, a New York-based contender in the “streaming live video” space, just announced it has become New Livestream, “an innovative new platform, available in beta, that combines live event coverage with real-time photos, text, and video clip updates posted using web browsers or mobile devices. The technology supports live blogging, live and on-demand video powered by Akamai HDNet, and real-time posting tools.” Read More
AS THE TABLE TURNS. How hot is Turntable.fm? Not hot enough for Talib Kweli, reports a Betabeat tipster. More than 100 people showed up at the Turntable.fm party last night for the CMJ music festival, where the rapper was supposed to laptop-DJ along with foursquare’s Naveen Selvadurai, Sterogum’s Amrit Singh and LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Wang.
Mr. Kweli was a no-show; Mr. Selvadurai was also nowhere to be seen. “Furthermore, no one at the event that I spoke to had ever heard of Turntable.fm or understood why they were just looking at five people playing songs from a laptop,” our tipster writes. “They were clearly expecting some Talib Kweli turntablism. To make matters worse, their showcase was in between an amazing turntablism set by AraabMuzik and an anticipated set by indie band The Dum Dum Girls, which left the turntable.fm as a head scratcher for people attending CMJ.”
Why would Mr. Kweli, who has shown TT love before, drop out of the mix?
Now that Turntable.fm courts celebrities as investors, it’s fair game for the likes of The Hollywood Reporter, which had an interesting interview with co-founder Seth Goldstein over the weekend. In it, Mr. Goldstein discusses monetization (with engaged users it’ll come naturally) and how DCMA-compliant listening makes for a passive experience (“it’s primarily read-only”).
As an early investor in the taxonomic trailblazers behind Delicious, Mr. Goldstein also had some telling observations about how TTFM users have scrapped traditional genres for a different approach to categorization.
With Turntable.fm‘s traffic coming in at lower levels than expected this month, investor Fred Wilson has written two very salient blog posts this week: the announcement of a new Turntable feature that should encourage activity on the site and an equally-appropriate post entitled “After the Hype.” “Forget about the hot app crowd,” he writes. “They may or may not be back.”
High Forms of Flattery
Ben Dowling is a software engineer behind such sites as Do Nothing for 2 Minutes, BusMapper and Geomium, as well as a co-organizer of the monthly Hacker News London meetup. He’s also, as of this week, attained the status of gorilla on the music streaming game Turntable.fm–which he did it from the U.K., where Turntable is supposed to be blocked, and in less than 48 hours.
On The Calendar
A FEW MONTHS AGO, AN ENTREPRENEUR in the tri-state area was soliciting web development help via Craigslist. “I’m looking for a Meetup.com clone script,” the listing said. “It must have all the social community features that Meetup.com has, including the capability to add new groups, users events, polls, connect to other social communities, shopping cart, sponsors and sub sites.” Meetup, which was founded in 2002 and has about 80 employees, is reportedly valued at more than $50 million. The asking price for a replica was $300 to $600.
Last week, two ads appeared from the other side of the fence: a programmer-for-hire looking for something to build who claimed to have built a Facebook clone in four days, a Flickr clone in three days and a Google clone in two weeks. He noted that he’d also created a Craigslist clone, adding, “but no one visits it so we are posting this ad to Craigslist.”*
When it comes to internet startups, much is made of the entrepreneurs who first bring an idea to market—innovators or “first movers,” in the parlance of market researchers. But vastly more common are “fast followers,” the ones who jump on a hot idea and dash off a carbon copy. After all, the first mover doesn’t always win the race: just look at the Mac, launched in 1984, versus the Windows PC, launched in 1985, or at Facebook, which came after Friendster, Myspace and the Winklevoss social network HarvardConnection.
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder of GarysGuide and mentor at ER Accelerator. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.org.
So, it was a busy week. Steve Jobs (who loves black turtlenecks almost as much as I love red ties) resigned. Twenty-five thousand New Yorkers checked into Earthquakepocalypse (and lost some respect with Californians in the process). And Hurricane Irene gave us a few gusts of wind, a few drops of water and a lot of @ElBloombito. But nothing is more important than the upcoming SXSW 2012 Panel Picker deadline (September 2). See, where I come from, we look out for our own. So I’ve put together a list of panels representing our local New York startuppers. Go show some love and vote for them and email me if you want your panel to be added to the list.
And now, here’s whats going on in your neck of the woods this week …
Pandora ads are now worth more than traditional radio ads, Gigaom reports this morning after poring over the company’s first public filing. The company’s mobile apps, however, are still worth less to advertisers than its web application–showing how skewed the ad market still is years after the first innovation of the banner ad.
Bizarrely, Pandora’s ads still seem very basic. Non-subscribers must endure in-stream interruptions with spots that seem largely untargeted. (Once, this reporter remembers hearing an ad for an event in Philly while she was streaming from the West Coast. Come on, Pandora! Help yourself out! Even traditional radio has that geographical targeting right.)
There have been plenty of knock-offs and copycats since Turntable.fm brought social streaming music to the next level by turning it into a highly engaging game. But this is the first Turntable competitor we’ve heard of that’s out for blood. “Turntable Killer,” was the subject line of the email we received this morning from Cole Flournoy, the founder of LetsListen.com, which lets you store your music online in the cloud and also invite your Facebook friends to join you in a chatroom and suggest songs to add to the playlist.
The app is now open in beta: