It was just last May that social music platform Turntable.fm began rolling out to the public, letting users spin records for each other in online chat rooms, but the company has already conquered any digital content distribution service’s biggest challenge: getting the content owners on board. Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Universal Music Group have all signed deals with Turntable.fm.
Billy Chasen, founder and CEO of Turntable.fm, told Adweek that the deals will lead to more artist involvement on the platform. “That closer relationship with the labels gives us better access to their artists, so there’s a lot of product features we want to do around that,” he said.
One feature that Chasen said will grow as a result of the deals is online events such as Turntable.fm bringing artists onto the platform to serve as digital DJs. “There’s only going to be more of that coming,” he said.
Additionally, Chasen said the deals set “a path to opening up our service internationally, which you can’t otherwise do unless you have all of this stuff in place.” Turntable.fm will still talk with publishers in each country, he said, “but the first step is to at least make these deals with all of the record labels.”
Turntable.fm reportedly already has some solid backing from the music industry, aside from the presence of artists on the platform. Lady Gaga and Kanye West were rumored to have participated in a $7.5 million investment round last year that was led by Union Square Ventures.
Turntable.fm will cross the one million user mark this month, said Chasen, but it remains very much a startup. “We’re in that area where we’ll still learning from our community. We’re still learning from ourselves on how we want to really make social music blow up online,” he said.
Chasen also dropped a bit of trivia during the interview: The Bassnectar remix of “Lights” by Ellie Goulding is the most popular song on Turntable.fm.