“CURATE, LISTEN TO AND SHARE COLLECTIONS OF THE ARTISTS YOU LOVE.”
Today is the first day of the new TastemakerX, where music lovers can do what they most want to do with music online: discover, listen and share their tastes. We’ve spent the last 18 months evolving our platform to combine all three of those aspirations into one cohesive experience - one where people can discover music by exploring other people’s curated artist Collections. It is a much needed and engaging layer built on top of Spotify, Rdio, Soundcloud, YouTube, iTunes™ , Songkick, Twitter, Instagram and other services. Let’s face it, finding music should be fun and easy, but it really hasn’t been since the days of “High Fidelity” where Jack Black and John Cusack worked in that hipster record store eons ago.
WHAT ARE TASTEMAKERX COLLECTIONS?
In the past, you amassed beautiful posters and physical collections of vinyl, 8-Tracks, cassettes and eventually CDs of your favorite artists. Now they have been probably relegated to the garage, or worse yet, abandoned completely. These walls and collections of art and music were not just about the music but proud badges of self-expression - they defined who you were and who you aspired to be. With Collections we want to bring that experience and those sentiments into the present day digital era.
TastemakerX Collections allow you to build online artist collections that let you play the music of individual artists or the playlists from a collection as a whole. Collections will be constrained by size, to help provide clear insight into a person’s taste. Every artist in your collection will power your homepage feed with information valuable to music fans such as Instagram photos, Songkick tour updates, YouTube videos, new track releases on SoundCloud, Tweets, news and reviews.
WHY ONLINE MUSIC NEEDS A UNIFICATION LAYER
There are quite a few amazing music services that provide almost limitless access to playing or watching music on the interwebs (YouTube, Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, Amazon, MOG/Daisy and others). We use and love them all, and they’re great at what they do. That said, they are siloed and in need of a connective layer built on top of them to enhance the overall experience of sharing music and playlists.
Getting news and information about specific artists happens everywhere in our connected but still fragmented world. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Songkick and others don’t solve the problem of pulling this all into one central place. TastemakerX taps into all of these sources and creates a simple cross platform feed personalized for your curated Collection. Now you’ll no longer have the issue of missing a new tour date announcement, a contest on Facebook, a new track released on SoundCloud, a video on YouTube, and all those killer Instagram photos that bands post on tour.
Finding like-minded music fans is nearly impossible, and really what you need is the ability to be connected to the ones who are most likely to lead you to a lifetime of discovery and shared passion. Sure you could hope that your favorite social network happens to surface people who follow the same band or MP3 blog, but wouldn’t it be easier to merely search for a band, scan the Top Fans of that artist and then explore and follow their Collections? That’s how easy it will be.
NEW FOR 2.0 AND BEYOND…
COLLECTIONS 2.0 + RANKINGS
A critical change to Collections 2.0 is the ability to produce a finite collection of music that might reflect a particular genre, time period, or mood. In turn this encourages people to be more focused and current with their selections. Users will also have the option to rank the artists in their collections to express their level of affinity for a particular artist. The end result is a curated expression of a person’s current musical taste and passion.
Artists will also have Top Fans which will be generated by looking at the date a player adds an artist, the player’s rank in Top Fans, and their levels of engagement and influence around that artist. Top Fans allows us to distinguish the fans of an artist from the passive masses, which is something the broad fire hose of big social media platforms makes impossible.
Fans will also have a Taste Score (T-Score) which looks at their Top Fan rankings, overall engagement and influence, and the aggregate buzz-worthiness of their Collection. This T-Score will allow people to quickly gauge their music savviness.
Ultimately, Collections, Top Fans and T-Scores are all about more easily discovering and connecting with musical kindred spirits and providing artists with new transparency into their most engaged and influential fans
INTRODUCING THE TASTEMAKERX FEED
The feed is a new and exciting feature on TastemakerX because it answers the problem of catch-all social feeds - people missing critical and interesting content from their favorite artists. The feed is visually rich; a stream of Instagram photos, Tweets, Songkick concert announcements, SoundCloud clips, and YouTube videos from just the artists users care about. In addition, the feed will also share activity from people users are following to help foster discovery.
Almost two years ago when we founded TastemakerX, our goal was to build a better mousetrap for discovering music. Algorithms had never worked for us but people did. Record store clerks, DJs on college radio stations, friends, great music critics and bloggers – they thrust music upon us with a passionate urgency. TastemakerX is all about people turning people onto music.
Everyone loves music. It’s worth seeking out, enjoying and sharing. We have put a lot of love into the new TastemakerX and we’re hoping you love it too.
— Marc, Sandro and the TastemakerX band
PS: Listen to our “Best Songs of The Past 25 Years” while you explore the new TastemakerX!