Summer Jamz

Summer Jamz

We Know What You Did This Summer

35 Photos

Dennis Crowley

It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations? Read More

Summer Jamz

Turntable Gets Labels On Board, International Launches Coming Over Next Few Months

One of’s earliest proponents was a music blog in Germany that helped send the music sharing game viral. However, the startup soon discovered that the licensing and rights rules abroad were more complicated than the rules at home, and had to pull the service down outside the U.S. The announcement yesterday that Turntable has signed direct licensing agreements with the four major music labels shows the company hasn’t forgotten about its international fans. “We’re trying to go international,” cofounder and CEO Billy Chasen told Betabeat this morning from Austin, where Turntable is revving up for South By Southwest: Music. “It’s going to take a little bit of time but we’re actively talking to all the people and publishers and rights holders internationally that we need to talk to.”

Turntable should become available in countries outside the U.S. sometime in the next few months, Mr. Chasen said. “We’ll slowly turn on countries because they all have different specific requirements on what we have to do to actually play music in them.” Read More

Summer Jamz

Did Shut Down After Six Months?

rolling fm

Back in September, fast follower was trumpeting achievements and rolling out new features. “We are excited to announce there has been over 1,000,000 friendships made on Rolling.FM since our launch a little over a month ago! Our platform has definitely become the music AND social discovery platform,” cofounder Nhon Ma wrote in an email announcing more social features and an enhanced profile browser. But the streaming music game built by former Googlers seems to have dropped off the map sometime last month. “Was curious to know what was going on with after their site hasn’t been resolving for previous couple weeks,” a tipster wrote in.

Indeed, does not resolve and the last tweet was on November 19. Rolling’s precursor, a social deals site called, is also not resolving. Read More

Summer Jamz

Q&A with the Founder of Our New Favorite Music Site: Everyone’s Mixtape

Screen shot 2011-12-21 at 4.42.37 PM

Betabeat had a late night at the office last night and the only thing that got us through it was a nifty little website we happened to catch via Hearst Ventures associate Libby Brittain. (Good looks, Libby!) Everyone’s Mixtape, which lets users create, share and listen to mixtapes, lured us in with its clean design and lightweight feel. It’s incredibly easy to start using. We didn’t realize you could create your own until we’d office-chair-danced our way through some of the staples on the homepage like Late Night, Summer BBQ, and the intriguingly-named Burning.

There are other ways to make a social playlist of course, some from burgeoning behemoths like Spotify, but none that we’ve found give you the same  mixtape nostalgia and come pre-loaded with great songs.

Over gChat, we caught up with the site’s creator, a Brooklyn-based developer named Richard Mai, who hails from the startup world’s secret wellspring: the tech divisions of the finance sector.

Read More

Summer Jamz

Inaugural Mashtival This Wednesday May Be Just What Needs


One of the best engines for growth at a web startup is a core group of power users who evangelize for the service—not because it will increase their Klout score or possibly win them a free iPad 2, but out of a love for the community being created online. experienced big growth during its first months after launching this summer and rode that wave to a nice round of funding. But their traffic seems to have dipped recently, indicating they are on the trough of the Gartner hype cycle.

The path forward is slow—organic growth, not driven by media hype or celebrity sign ups. And the Inaugural Mashtival, a mashup festival happening on Turntable this week, seems like a good example of passionate users who will help the site grow. Read More

Summer Jamz

Did’s Traffic Fly South for the Winter or Forever?

That's Betabeat on the dance floor with the lame avatar.

It’s possible Betabeat’s “Summer Jamz” tag for posts may have proved portentous. After looking at the site’s traffic and search trends, Digital Music News wonders, “Has the fickle internet already chewed this site up, spit it out, and moved onto something else?”

It echoes what a norms friend and former TTFM enthusiast said to us over coffee last weekend, “Remember when everyone was excited about!” She has since moved on to Spotify.

The tech press is just as eager to roast a failure as it to crown a startup prince (not us, of course, no never). But while the data is unverified, a unique visitor count from, ranking data from Alexa and Google search trend data all show a markedly similar downward-sloping curve after a steep spike in June and July. Read More

Summer Jamz

As It Prepares to Raise Cache, Spinning A Million Tracks Per Day

Internet rock stars

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, which bestowed special avatars on Fred Wilson, Andy Weissman, Dennis Crowley, Dave Goldberg and Lauren Leto.

Betabeat chatted with 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 and a whole room is listening to what I want them to, people pressing the awesome button, that’s just a powerful feeling.” Read More

Summer Jamz

How Users Self-Categorize on

No, not that kind of bear.

Now that 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. Read More

Summer Jamz

Why On Earth Does Rupert Murdoch Think Beyond Oblivion Is Going to Kill Spotify?

He whips his hair back and forth, he whips his hair back and forth.

Despite an already crowded marketplace for cloud jukebox services like Spotify and Rhapsody, not to mention streaming radio services (Pandora and the upcoming iTunes Match), the Financial Times reports that a New York start-up called Beyond Oblivion plans to launch an unlimited music service later this year, under the unfortunately-named brand Boinc (Beyond Oblivion’s initials + Inc.). How does one pronounce that exactly? Boink? Beau-ink?

Beyond Oblivion will be selling its cloud-based library of millions of songs by bundling it with the cost of a smartphone or PC. Users get free streaming music for the life of their device, with an extra $50 to $70 per device naked into the purchase price. The idea is to mitigate revenues lost to illegal downloads. However, and this is a very big but, when Nokia tried to do pretty much the same thing with its Comes with Music service, the company was forced to scrap the effort after two years due to limited success.

The start-up picked up $77 million from an investment round back in March that included Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate and Wellcome Trust. That’s on top of a $10 million round for Allen & Company and Intertrust Technologies, a joint venture between Sony and Philips. Read More