Turntable.fm Launches Pandora-Like Social Music App

Posted December 4

Do you miss the heyday of the once uber buzzy Turntable.fm? Well, fret not, the founders of the social listening service are coming out with a new app called Piki, and it focuses much more on music than it does on gorillas and gameplay.

In the tech world, this new app is what is called a “pivot,” IE a change of direction. Something new. And for the founders of Turntable.fm, it’s not the first they’ve embraced. Before Turntable.fm blew up in 2011, co-founders Seth Goldstein and Billy Chasen were putting all their energy into Stickybits, which was basically a line of physical stickers that linked to digital content. After abandoning that idea, the duo launched Turntable.fm, a series of musical chatrooms in which users could DJ tunes and rate the chosen tunes of others.

Now, with Turntable traffic foundering — it had 140,000 users in its first month and now, according to Mashable, it has 120,000 users total more than a year after launch — and one co-founder pouring his efforts into another startup, it seems like the company is looking for a change.

TechCrunch recently spoke with Turntable’s CEO Billy Chasen about Piki, which will launch in beta on the web soon (enroll here) and on mobile in a month or two. “There’s still demand to listen to music that’s powered by other people, instead of an algorithm like Pandora,” he said. “But instead of having it in very real-time, in a room like Turntable, we are providing a laid-back experience with Piki.”

According to TechCrunch, Piki is a lot like Pandora — you fire it up, pick a genre, press play and immediately a stream of music begins playing. However, unlike with Pandora and its algorithm-spun playlists, tunes are chosen by your friends. Users can also share songs that they like (“picking” or “repicking” jams) as well as dedicate jams to friend complete with a message. Naturally, you can add tunes to your profile by searching as well.

Take a look at the video above for a peek at the app and keep checking back for our review of the beta.