Summer Jamz

Summer Jamz

Watch Your Back, Pitchfork: Google Launches Music Blog, Magnifier

I want my Google Music!

Google hopes its sprawling empire will soon extend to television and music, but has had little luck convincing the incumbent players to play nice with its products. As a back door, it seems Google is planning to produce its own content. It’s throwing $100 million into original programming on Youtube, and today Google launched its own music blog, Magnifier.

The site is intended to get users signed up for Google Music, the cloud storage locker which is still in beta. On the homepage today, Magnifier is offering free tracks from My Morning Jacket and The Walkmen for anyone who signs up for Google Music.  Read More

Summer Jamz

Taking VC Money (Money, Cash, IPOs) [SICK BEAT]


Amazing new track from Corey Smith, aka Smixx, a musician, freelance iOS/WP7 developer and co-founder of Cardinal social music sharing platform. Smixx has been spinning tech raps for a while now, like “Developers feat. Steve Ballmer” and “One More Thing featuring Steve Jobs from WWDC 2011.”

But start-ups are where Betabeat’s heart really lies, so this track was the first to catch our attention. That, and @aplusk tweeted it out. Enjoy below the jump. Read More

Summer Jamz

LetsListen Aims to Be a Turntable Killer


There have been plenty of knock-offs and copycats since 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, 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: Read More

Summer Jamz

Local IBM Consultant Launches Unofficial Swag Store In His Spare Time


It’s still too early to say what the future holds for, but it certainly seems to be accumulating the markers of success very quickly. Copycats? Check. Partnerships with industry its trying to disrupt? Check. Celebrity endorsements? Check, check, check! And now it looks like Turntable’s picked-up another: a satellite start-up hoping to cash in on Turntable’s go-go juice.

Late last night, Josh Luber sent out an email to folks who had signed-up the’s splash page we told you about awhile back announcing that the store had opened. In a little box at the top, it says, “This site is not affiliated with” Although lookalike shares similar attributes, we’re not sure yet whether the shop has or needs permission to use the exact avatars. (Some people can get pretty litigious about these types of things). But the shop has received a retweet from the Turntable crew, so it looks like Mr. Luber may be in the clear.

So who is this entrepreneurial fellow? Read More

Summer Jamz

VIDEO: Talbi Kweli Stop By Office and Gets Special Surprise

talib and turntable

As we reported earlier today, Talib Kweli is the first verified artist, with his own unique avatar. The folks at TT.FM just released a little video of Mr. Kweli visiting their office.

While celebs get the special avatar treatment for free, its easy to see how Turntable could turn this into a revenue stream, selling users the option to create a more accurate digital likeness.

Hopefully nobody owns a patent on the creation of digital faces… Read More

Summer Jamz Yeah, We Copied, But We’re Taking It to the Next Level

rolling fm

Users felt a sense of deja-vu when, an interactive music streaming start-up, launched just over a week ago.’s interface–a virtual club with DJs lined up at a laptop and a floating chat room–looks so much like viral hit that users, along with Betabeat’s own numero uno Turntable fanboy, @benpopper, immediately started calling it a knock-off and questioning its legitimacy. (One Betabeat tipster claimed the app, which has 2,400 daily average users according to the most recent numbers from AppData, is populated by fake avatars).

Rolling is hardly the first pop-up app inspired by’s innovation and success. But the app, made by the three ex-Google co-founders of the daily deals / social media advertising start-up Tenka, features all the Turntable calling cards: avatars of DJs and listeners, rotating DJ spots, and a “weak-hot” rating system that can get DJs points or get a song skipped.

After some initial dodginess about where the idea came from,’s founders are ready to own- up to their origins. “I think it’s obvious that the initial version of Rolling is inspired by Turntable,” co-founder Tim Zhou said in an email. “To say otherwise is not accurate. We started working on our pivot in late May.” Read More

Summer Jamz

Turntable Clone Founded by, Oooh an Xoogler, Gets Unnecessary Attention


A complete ripoff of called has emerged that would make Chinese copycats proud. Because the firm has the distinction of being founded by one Tim Zhou,  who used to work at Google, the tech press has gone gaga for it. Gaga, meanwhile, has apparently chosen to put her funds into the original.

“Hot on the heels of’s big reported round of funding comes, a clone that does just about everything the original service does. Will it achieve the same popularity? Who knows, but we’re impressed that someone has already launched such a complete knock-off of the concept,” writes a breathless Eliot Van Buskirk, a former Wired writer who left for music start-up but continues to contribute pieces of reportage. Read More

Summer Jamz Picks Union Square Ventures as Investor Over Kleiner and Accel

In a room of bobbing avatars, Radiohead take on new meaning

While the legal paperwork is still being finished, Betabeat has learned from multiple sources that Union Square Venture is the big new investor in

Betabeat was the first to report the company was raising significant funds. It was later reported by Business Insider that the round had closed, which was not true at the time, and technically is still not the case. We have been told that BI was essentially correct on the numbers, which were reported as a $7.5 million round at a $37.5 million valuation.

TechCrunch was the first to report that Turntable was choosing between USV, Kleiner Perkins and Accel. The choice of USV over West Coast heavyweights like Kleiner Perkins and Accel makes a lot of sense. Both Kleiner and Accel have deep ties with Facebook, which is reportedly building its own music service, so there is a potential for conflict of interest. USV, by contrast, has deep ties with Twitter, which is’s most powerful distribution platform. Read More

Summer Jamz

Turntable.FM Building New Avatar System That Will Use Your Real Face

turntable gorilla

The folks over at think this is a “joke” feature, but Betabeat is inclined to disagree. The company is strapped for resources and not likely to code something they don’t plan on using, even if it does help them blow off a little steam. This should’t be at the top of anyone’s priority list, but a system that lets you take a photo with a webcam and use your real face as an avatar definitely get our awesome meter going. Video Here

Summer Jamz’s 400 K. Users Don’t Really Listen While They Work

turntable gorilla, the addictive music streaming site that lets you DJ to a live, virtual audience, has 400,000-some monthly active users according to AppData–an astonishing feat for a (not even!) two-month old start-up. But the hype around Turntable may finally be settling down. The number of monthly active users appears to have plateaued in the last week, and the number of daily active users is down from a high of 49,892 last Sunday to 41,865 yesterday. Read More