Think you have an eye for talent? Can you spot the next big thing before anyone else can? Now you can live your dreams of being an A&R executive with TastemakerX, the social game for music discovery, which launched today as a desktop and iOS application. In essence, TastemakerX allows music fans to “invest” in their favorite up-and-coming artists using a virtual currency in order to lay their claim on the next hot music act.
TastemakerX is a fun and competitive way for users to discover new music and build a profile of personal tastes to influence others. Game features include social sharing, biographies of bands, news items, and the ability to listen and purchase tracks directly from iTunes. A user’s “TScore” measures their influence on new and popular music using a 100-point scale. Players build this score based on how good they are at finding up-and-coming artists and by engaging in the TastemakerX ecosystem. Players discover new artists by viewing real-time activity on most recent “trades”, by connecting with like-minded music fans, by exploring artist profiles and by comparing player portfolios of artists they love.
“Fans everywhere aspire to be tastemakers among their peers,” said CEO & co-founder Marc Ruxin (former EMI A&R scout). “It’s thrilling to be the first one to discover a band and share it with your friends. We created TastemakerX as a way to reinvigorate music discovery in a way that’s social and engaging,”
Users can tweet, post to Facebook, and eventually add photos to their “investments” to make their experience more social. For instance, if you happened to see an artist live and posted a photo as evidence, you can later point to that early discovery once the artist’s stock rises in the wake of a successful release.
“It’s a way for you to express support for an artist in the early days by preserving an ongoing record of seminal music moments that you share across the game’s own social feed, Facebook, and Twitter,” said Ruxin.
The company is headquartered in San Francisco and includes an impressive lineup of investors on board including Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures (early Instagram and Draw Something investor), Jon Callaghan of True Ventures (early Soundtracking and Bandcamp investor), John Battelle of Federated Media, Marc Geiger (Head of music at William Morris), Ian Rogers of Topspin, Andrew Klein and Todd Goldstein of AEG, and many more. The company is said to have raised $1.8 million in Series A funding early in 2012.
The game is currently available on the TastemakerX website and iPhone app, but will also be made available on other online and mobile platforms later in the year.