Turntable.fm Fights For Survival with Turntable Live Performances
Apparently Turntable.fm is now focusing on their live shows with the creation of a video studio and performances that go beyond dj playlists. As Turntable.fm has faded, live events have remained one of their bright spots. Given that their Piki app experiment didn't work out, they now seemed to be focusing on what's worked and how successes can be turned into revenue. However, though reportedly planning a launch on Monday, it looks like Turntable Live is still behind curtains.
Earlier this year they launched a leanback app called Piki to balance out Turntable's deeper engagement model.
Last month they shut down Piki and returned their full focus to Turntable. Though much hangs in the balance, that focus might be just the thing they need to make a solid comeback.
Turntable Was Already Focusing on Live DJ Events
I spoke with co-founder Billy Chasen back when Piki launched. It was a wide-ranging discussion with Piki seeming like a logical next step to balance out the Turntable experience.
At the time Chasen said that Turntable (in my words):
"continues as a real-time environment where groups of friends can hang out together, they are focusing more on Turntable as a 'digital event space' with scheduled live events. Larger rooms are now available and thousands of people have been accommodated for special parties."
So it appears that Turntable Live is an attempt to build a more monetizable version of the events and special parties which Chasen described as real successes.
An Early Look at Turntable Live
Jordan Crook got an early look at what Turntable's up to in their new studio in New York:
"Artists visit Turntable’s Soho office/studio and set up in front of a green screen. A camera records the performance live to viewers who have purchased tickets to the show. Turntable is requiring a minimum ticket price of $5, but artists can choose their own ticket price as long as it’s higher than the minimum. Artists generally spilt the profit 70 percent/30 percent with Turntable, but that is negotiable…"
"[Viewers] can snap pictures of yourself with the computer’s webcam, which are sent directly to a big screen in front of the audience. The artists can also see a real-time chat that’s happening among viewers, as well as direct questions posed from the audience…"
"Turntable aggregates the ambient noise from listeners’ mics (including applause) to play at the end of every song, so that users really get a sense of community while watching the performance."
So we'll see if Turntable and artists using the platform will be able to start charging for the live web experience.
If so, Turntable will add to its monetization efforts and open a new chapter.
If not, then we might be getting to the end of the line for Turntable.
[Thumbnail: Detail of Turntable Live screenshot via TechCrunch.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.