Guest post by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Online listening rooms dazzled the technology press, if not the mainstream, with the launch of Turntable.fm back in 2011. Soundrop brought the listening room concept to Spotify as a launch partner of the app platform in the desktop version of Spotify, where it consistently ranks as one of the most popular apps there, ranking a respectable #5 out of 50 as of this writing.
The Dubstep room in Soundrop for Spotify
Say you’re in a band. Say that band has a new record.
To help promote the release, you might consider throwing a global listening party where fans could hear the new release, commenting in real time as they hear all the tracks, as Bob Dylan is doing right now. Or say you’re a label; you could make a collection of your music in Spotify and turn that into a listening room, as EMI is doing right now with its British Invasion room. Alternatively, a band could simply DJ a room to meet their fans, as part of an album release, as The Ravonettes did yesterday – or a band could simply DJ music they like, inviting fans to listen to the music they like, while voting tracks up or down in the queue, also in Soundrop for Spotify.
What will change with this new Soundrop SDK (which is already in use by unnamed artists and labels, who are already working on creating their own rooms) is that in addition to these rooms appearing in Spotify, the same rooms could appear in an infinite number of places on the internet.
All the people in there would listen to the same music, at the same time, seeing the same comments, and the same vote tallies on songs in the queue. That sounds tough, but Soundrop seems up to it.
Soundrop CEO and co-founder Inge Andre Sandvik (exclusive interview) dropped by Evolver.fm’s Manhattan headquarters this week to reveal, among other things, that Soundrop has now surpassed 300 million tracks played within Spotify, and the average listener spends about three hours per session.
That is a lot, in internet time, and it bodes well for Soundrop’s ability to keep up with scale, should its strategy of replicating real-time listening rooms across the internet pay off.