Serendip is a social music service that allows its users to create a personalized radio station based on recommendations on Twitter. The service delivers real-time recommendations from links shared via Youtube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Nancy Messieh from TheNextWeb described Serendip as “the smartest music intergration to Twitter I’ve seen.” Serendip is currently in private but will be open to the general public within the next few months. Below are the details of a interview I had with the companies Founder and CEO Sagee Ben-Zedeff.
Where did the inspiration to create Serendip arrive from?Both my partner, Asaf, and I are avid music fans, who happen to spend a lot of time online looking for something to listen to. However, it’s very time-consuming an you really have to “work” for it by finding albums, creating playlists and browsing through tons of music blogs. On the other hand, everyone seems to be sharing their favorite tunes on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. It seemed to us that it would be awesome if someone could gather up music relevant recommendations from friends and other people who know a thing or two about music to create your own personal radio channel. Which is exactly what we did.
How would you explain your service to someone who is not familiar with it? Serendip creates a personal radio channel for listeners based on music shared by your friends and music soul mates on social networks. We collect every song shared on Twitter (and soon Facebook), from various sources such as YouTube, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp. We then analyze them and offer you as a user the ability to tap into all this wealth by selecting your DJ’s and creating a playlist in real-time. So you’re basically listening to songs almost as soon as they are shared, and your are also enjoying a great experience that gives respect to the song and the DJ(user) that shared it. By tapping into people, and not fancy algorithms, you can discover great music, as well as great people who share the same musical taste.
How does it differ from the growing number of social music services that are now available Serendip creates a lean back experience where the playlist is generated in real-time, all the time and from what people are sharing right now. And because we tap into Twitter, which is today a leading infrastructure for sharing media, we can offer our users more than 10M DJs who actively share music on twitter.
Our concept of “social curation” for music and our ability to deliver “the sound of NOW” (what’s being shared now) makes our music experience up-to-date and ever-changing. And the fact that we gather music that’s being shared by people daily, even without knowing means that our discovery process is practically unlimited. You’re not limited to your circle or a specific catalog which makes the experience much more interesting.
What has the user response been so far
We silently launched Serendip in private alpha for the first few months. User satisfaction is quite impressing, both in terms of time spent on the site and retention. We are looking into opening Serendip to the general public in Q2/12.
What are some of the challenges that Serendip faces?Serendip brings a REAL social music service into a market where the term “social music” has been a bit over-used and mis-used. So one of the main challenges is to show music lovers what social music actually is and we do this by connecting them with complete strangers from all around the world.
Another challenge we face is seeing how we can help re-shape the music industry and help artists/labels develop a real direct-to-fan relationship. We plan on doing this by “pushing” new and interesting music directly to their fans’ playlist.
Where would you like to see Serendip Media at in the next five years? I would love to see Serendip become a service that is not only a great destination for music listening and discovery, but also an enabler for other services. We would like to be involved in the curation process of new music channels by providing other services with the tools they need to connect their users with their “musical soul mates.”Google+