Turntable.fm, the once-high-flying music service which has been losing momentum of late, finally launched an Android app on Friday.
Turntable is a free app, which is unique in the way that it presents music: users create an avatar and enter different “rooms,” such as Indie While You Work, Ambient Chillout & Trip Hop, Coding Soundtrack, and Dubstep. Other users act as a DJ, playing music from Turntable’s built in streaming library, for the rest of the room. The users then get to vote the DJ either “lame” or “awesome,” with “lame” DJs being sent packing, while “awesome” DJs earn points.
Turntable already has a desktop site and an iPhone app. The desktop version of Turntable allows users to add songs being played to their Spotify, Last.fm or iTunes accounts, a service that is not yet available for the Android app, but it does allow users to log in through Twitter, which the iPhone version does not.
The history of Turntable
The New York City-based Turntable.fm was founded in 2010 by Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein, who also founded StickyBits, a barcode scanning app that let users win prizes. When Stickybits did not catch on, Chasen and Goldstein pivoted and created Turntable instead.
Starting over with just $400,000 in the bank, Turntable was an instant hit, gaining over 300,000 users in less than a month after being released in May 2011. As of September 2011, Turntable.fm was being used by over 600,000 people and streaming around 1 million songs per day.
In July 2011,Turntable raised $7 million at a $35 million valuation from including First Round Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, and Lowercase Ventures. A number of notable entertainment figures also invested, including the managers for Lady Gaga and Madonna, Jimmy Fallon and Ashton Kutcher
Since then, though, Turntable’s numbers have fallen off, down to about half of where they were at their peak. At the same time, Pandora has 49 million active users and Spotify has 17 million.
Finally getting onto the Android system will hopefully be a major boon for Turntable.fm given that a recent study found that a majority of smartphones in the U.S. now have the Android platform. Getting themselves onto the most popular platform should help make them another go-to site for new music.
(Image source: hiphopwired.com)