App developer Playmysong has opened an office in New York City and launched its service here, simultaneous to closing a $350,000 angel round of financing this month. The angel round was led by Lifeline Ventures, a Helsinki, Finalnd-based accelerator focused on disruptive start-ups from the Web and game sectors.
The Helsinki-based Playmysong’s mobile app is available in the iTunes Store App Store, and enables users to take control of the music in their surroundings.
Using Playmysong’s app on iOS or from the Web, users can remotely play their favorite songs and DJ the music around them – provided the locations they are visiting have integrated Playmysong into their music playout signal path — while simultaneously posting a Foursquare-style check-in update on Facebook and Twitter.
The company’s business model is based on selling premium services for participating venues and brands. On the venue side, proprietors connect their iOS device running a Playmysong Pro app to their stereo sound system, via a standard 3.5 mm audio cable. Retailers, restaurants, bars, café owners etc… can learn more about the free basic service here.
Every time a song is played in a Playmysong venue, it generates the equivalent of a free social ad for that location. The result is a social function for music that is played out in bars, hotels, restaurants and other public venues. In theory, it provides a more engaging experience than the traditional jukebox for a venue’s patrons, encouraging longer stays.
The first NYC venue for Playmysong is Idle Hands Bar, on 25 Avenue B, which has taken advantage of the app to introduce Playmysong Mondays. For example, one Monday night 21 different users of the app played 101 total songs – an equivalent of approximatey five hours of crowd-sourced music entertainment.
Users posted info about the song they played in Idle Hands Bar to their Facebook walls for 54 times. According to Playmysong, an average Facebook user has 200 friends, meaning that Idle Hands Bar got over 10,000 free social micro-ads in Facebook during one night.
The latest version of the app, Playmysong 1.1 includes the following features:
• New home screen – When opening the app, you can instantly open the Remote mode to play songs in nearby Stereos or the Stereo mode to launch your own social jukebox.
• iTunes Playlists – You can now use your existing iTunes playlists in your Playmysong Stereo. Managing what music you have in your Stereo has never been easier.
• Multi-Tasking – You can now use Playmysong Stereo and Remote on the background while you browse the web, read emails, do sports, etc.
• User Images and Shout Outs – Facebook-connected users now have their Facebook profile pictures as their Playmysong profile pictures. You can also add shout outs while playing songs.
Spins.FM, an NYC-based web and mobile service that enables fans to request their favorite songs on local FM radio via Twitter and Facebook, has launched its Social Radio Requests App for radio stations.
The app is intended to increase the ease with which radio stations and listeners can connect on Facebook, while giving radio stations a quick and complete view of what their listeners want to hear and where they are dialing in from.
Spins.FM founder David Baker explains: “The listener request line has always been the primary channel for radio stations to connect with listeners. Our Social Radio Requests App gives it an update, enabling Twitter and Facebook conversations to take to the airwaves – and radio station program directors and DJs to improve their presence on social media while tracking what their audiences want with more precision than before.”
With Spins.FM, radio stations can sign up at spins.fm/radio where they have the option to add the app to their Facebook page, enabling fans to easily request songs via both Facebook and Twitter.
The app also automatically adds a request tab to the radio station’s Facebook page, displaying the most-requested songs as well as distinguishing local requests from global requests. In this way, stations are able to focus on their core local listeners even as they get requests from all over the world.
The announcement of Spins.FM’s app for radio stations comes on the heels of a number of new Social Request campaigns for top artists including Chris Brown (“She Ain’t You”), Diddy Dirty Money (“Your Love”), and Soulja Boy (“Zan with that Lean”).
MIDTOWN, MANHATTAN: There’s more than one way to socialize, but as the Web continues to expand, determined entrepreneurs must dig deeper to create new group experiences.
Its hard work for these thought leaders, but when they make a discovery, everyone else – especially those of us in the music sector — benefits with new ways to connect to audiences. At the NYC-based online startup RecreateMyNight (RMN), the aim has been to build a business with their own twist on the social media platform.
Created by President/Founder Tejpaul Bhatia and a roster of social media experts culled from ESPN and MTV, RMN allows its users to gather their photos, videos, and posts from a specific experience and stream them online to a central gathering place. Record companies are already seeing the potential: EMI’s Astralwerks label recently tapped it to promote David Guetta’s song “Memories” featuring Kid Cudi, adding up to a montage of fan-sourced media that play out along with the song (see the result at http://guetta.recreatemynight.com).
A free-to-use site, RMN provides the same opportunity to everyone from indie bands to ballgames to the bar mitzvah set. It’s a good enough idea, but there’s more than enough good ideas out there, competing like mad for the attention of individuals and investors. Will the market bite and turn RMN into a real breadwinner? Tejpaul and his team are betting – with every ounce of their blood, sweat and tears – that the answer is yes.
How do you define RecreateMyNight – is it a social platform?
One thing that we’re not is a social network. The big difference between us and sites in the social networking space is that we’re not a system of record – you don’t have to setup a username and password with us and you don’t have to upload any files to us. Users don’t have to change their behavior at all. They can upload to Twitter, Facebook, and RMN goes to all those social sites/platforms, and brings all those points in time into one place – in a comprehensive and meaningful way.
So if I’m using RMN, how do I share my images?
Say you upload images to Facebook from your phone. Then, you’ll connect RMN with Facebook, and RMN will automatically pull in anything tagged with that timeframe. It works amazingly well with FB’s mobile application. So you take a picture at a concert and upload it from your phone, boom – it’s in. Or if you just take it with a digital camera, you upload it to FB later and tag it with that time, RMN will then get them into that event.
Alternatively, five friends will pull in all the media they generated around it. Take that to the next level, with 30,000 people at a concert pulling in all their media. It gets extremely complex and interesting.
What niche would you say RMN is filling with what you offer?
What a lot of other solutions are providing is answering the question, “What’s happening right now?” Everything about Twitter and Facebook is right now – with phones and broadband you can upload it and it’s immediately broadcast to everyone.
We do a different take, asking the question, “What happened? How do you look at an event in a time-synched way?” With RMN, you can take all the images from an event that you didn’t know existed, and show what people were thinking in a way that was tied together with photos and videos. So we’re different in the way that we take media, and present them back to the user, but also because we don’t change people’s behavior in the ecosystem – we just take what they’re doing and make it exponentially more valuable.
Why is that particularly useful in the music arena?
When we launched the product, we knew there were a couple of verticals that were a slam dunk, with music/concerts being one, and weddings being another.
When we launched, we were approached by EMI Records – they said, “We have a new band, The Constellations, and we want to see if you can help promote them.” So we recreated every concert of their summer tour, and EMI said, “This is cool, can we do it with a larger artist?” David Guetta is a natural: He’s got a ton of followers, he’s very active in the social space, and the song is “Memories”. Labels are great because they have resources, and we can customize campaigns for them, but what matters is how to get this to the local artist.
For an artist that sells a couple thousand tickets, there was an in-between need that we thought needed to be met. At CMJ, for example, some bands used RMN to showcase the events. When you go to our site, you’ll see there’s a band called The Wellington Papers that used RMN. People were taking photos and videos, and these guys did a recreation for each of three shows in a week. You can see all the posts and Tweets, some photos look pro while others are raw, and all this took this upstart band and made them look even better.
There was so much fan participation, but it wasn’t a hurdle. We didn’t ask them to do anything – they did it on their own. Then other fans see it and say, “I was there!” and their media gets pulled in. So even though the concert was one night, three or four weeks later it’s still living. It’s a local band using the site to promote themselves, and it worked really well.
Recreate My Night is free for users — what’s the revenue model?
Currently, RecreateMyNight earns revenue through licensing agreements with other companies. Our customers brand, white label or embed our platform inside theirs. Looking forward, we see revenue generating opportunities in the area of consumer goods like photo prints, customized/personalize merchandise and music downloads. We also see a lot of opportunities in the area of contextual advertising once we figure out a seamless way to integrate it into our products.
You’re based in NYC. What’s good and bad about being an online startup here?
Let’s start with the good: NYC is a microcosm of the world. With 8 million people here, whatever your product is, there’s an audience in NYC for it. Music and media is an obvious play – there’s a lot of people, companies and energy around. In NYC, I can have as many meetings in a day as I can possibly fit in. We could always be busy selling with business development people, if I had enough of them. And on the user side, to recruit local bands I don’t have to do major outreach to test something new: I can just call a couple of friends and get quick feedback.
From a challenge sense, NYC is a tough place. With so much competition, getting the word out isn’t easy. And for startups, NYC is particularly tough. We don’t have much capital. We’re putting our lives into this, making a big investment not necessarily with cash, but with our time and the hope that this will pay us back at some point. NYC is evolving to be more supportive of that type of dream, but if you look at a startup breeder like Silicon Valley, it’s not like that.
However, if you look at this as a place for starting up and succeeding, NYC has a lot of history like that. The city is doing a ton of stuff to support entrepreneurs, and the mayor and his different departments have played a huge role in our ability to stay alive right now. A couple of programs include The Levin Institute and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, they both do a ton of programs for startups.
There’s a scene, a support structure, and people just have to believe — that the positives of NYC can outweigh the difficulties, and make it a truly great place to get started.
– David Weiss
The contest will bring an additional dynamic to the concert experience as music fans will be able to earn points throughout their concert experience, from buying tickets and Twitter updates, to blog reviews and media uploads. The SuperGlued leaderboard keeps track of the points and those concertgoers with the top scores will win weekly prizes throughout summer.
The music junkie to accumulate the most points will earn the grand prize package that includes a Brooklyn Bowl 365 pass, and a guest DJ spot on the Seaport Music Show on East Village Radio. The Brooklyn Bowl 365 pass will provide the winner and a friend with free admission to shows at the Brooklyn Bowl for one whole year.
Founded by Rush Doshi and Tom Plunkett (CTO of Gawker) in June 2009, SuperGlued’s mission is to create a place where concertgoers can come together and share their experiences, photos and videos, as well as connect before and after a show.
Internet Week New York kicks off today, and will continue through June 14. Many panels are relevant to artists and businesses across the music industry, such as talks on how to pitch ideas and find sponsors, as well as how to increase your profits through the Internet.
Started in 2008 to advance New York’s Internet industry and community, IWNY was organized by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). The event will hold a variety of conferences, networking opportunities and performances, covering a range of topics.
This year the festival will include organizations such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, HP, Twitter, PepsiCo., StartupAlpha.com, Google and Forbes to name a few. The Internet Week headquarters will be located at the Metropolitan Pavilion however, many events will take place at different venues throughout the city.
SonicScoop picked out the following highlights throughout the week. Check the Internet Week New York Website to find more! Also watch out on Twitter for impromptu event notices, throughout the week #iwny.
Monday June 7th
12.00-12.30pm Phil Thomas DiGiulio Presents: Mobile Applications in the Modern World (at Metropolitan Pavilion)
12.30-2.30pm StartupAlpha.com Liquid Lunch & “Big Deal Room” Launch (at Whiskey Rebel)
11.00-11.45am Windows Phone 7 in Action: Design and Development Process Guidelines, and Workflow the WP7 Platform (Metropolitan Pavilion)
6.30-8.00pm Pitch out of Water
6.20-11.30pm Girls who Rock Benefit Concert supporting She’s the First and AfricAid (Santos Party House)
7.00-11.00pm SoundCtrl: Fireside Chat, Followed by Performances from Free Sol and Jared Evan. Music by DJ GetLive (DROM)
3.00-4.30 How to Fund Your Project Using IndieGoGo (Soho Apple Store)
9.00-4.00pm NYC Startup Weekend (NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)
10.00-5.00pm Digital Marketing Days (Hilton NY)
7.00-10.00pm The 14th Annual Webby Awards GalaCelebration Hosted by B.J. Novak of NBC’s ‘The Office’ (Cipriani Wall Street)
See you there! — Erika Pontes