Turntable.fm Signs Pacts With Four Top Music Labels
New York-based Turntable.fm, an online music-sharing site, has signed deals with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, EMI Music Group, and Sony, the company announced yesterday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. It was a quick coup for the company, which changed its entire business model just one year ago.
Turntable.fm was originally founded in 2009 as Stickybits by entrepreneurs Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein. The company allowed big brands to put QR codes on their products offering rewards to consumers who scanned them. But the concept didn’t catch on with consumers, leading Chasen to famously admit to TechCrunch last December, “We were all building the app and none of us used the app.”
So Stickybits pivoted into Turntable.fm, which allows music lovers to enter virtual “rooms” and become DJs, playing their favorite music for others in that room and listening to picks by their online friends. Several representatives from the music labels told Billboard.biz they see Turntable.fm as a good platform for promoting established stars and marketing new musicians.
Turntable.fm has raised about $13 million from investors including Union Square Ventures. Its competitors span the range of online music-streaming and downloading services, including Rhapsody, Pandora, and Spotify.