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Serendip Finds Music "Soul Mates" With Socially Curated Radio

1344357184One of the standout music tech showcasers at TechCrunch Disrupt this week in San Francisco was Serendip, a social music service that helps users find their music “soul mates” and provides them with a personalized social radio experience that plays songs shared by others who have the same musical interests. An alternative to an algorithm approach or to “expertly created” playlists, Serendip curates its content through what is actually being shared on social networks by people who have similar tastes as you.

Serendip works by collecting all of the music related posts that have been publicly shared on Facebook and Twitter, and indexes them along with the people who have shared them. This essentially turns Facebook or Twitter users who actively share music into a “DJs”. Serendip claims more than 25 million DJs are currently registered in their database, and users can discover others that match their interests. They can then follow them and lean back for a personally curated playlist based on the music they share.

“Online music became a disappointing experience for us,” co-founder and CTO Asaf Atzmon told Hypebot. “It became harder and harder to keep track of what's going on, and to interact with others who love music too. We felt that something was missing – a truly social music experience, where you can enjoy music with others, share what you love with them, listen to what they are playing, and discover great music in the process.”

Songs on Serendip come from publicly available sources, namely YouTube, Bandcamp, Vimeo, and SoundCloud – effectively avoiding issues with copyright or digital rights management. This means that if you already share music on Facebook or Twitter (or who have friends who do), you basically already have a playlist of music ready to go pulling from these sources.

Users can also interact with the music they’re hearing. For instance, when one hears a song they love, the can give it a “Rock On” (Serendip’s version of a Like), which is a way of recognizing the DJ who shared it and can then share it on their Facebook or Twitter feeds.

Both co-founders Sagee Ben-Zedeff and Asaf Atzmon were on hand during Disrupt to give me a demo of their product. After playing around with it myself, I found it to be enjoyable coming across songs that I hadn’t heard before (and sure enough they fit what I’m into), but my overall satisfaction of the discoveries stemmed more from the fact that I was being presented with songs through a means that I had not yet seen before. Since these “DJs” are adamant enough about their musical taste to be sharing it across their social networks, I got a sense of being presented with content that came from real and passionate music fans that I could actually relate to.

“[The DJs] might not know all the ‘right’ blogs and columns to read, and they don't have time to follow the trend setters,” he said. “They just want to listen to music they like, and to discover other things they may like, preferably from people they can get to know and trust. So in a nutshell - Serendip is for everyone who loves music. At the same time, we do see a trend of ‘self-proclaimed’ DJs who use Serendip to share their music choices and gain listeners and fame."

Fore more information, check out serendip.me.

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com. Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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