The gamification of music has been a topic that has lingered in the back of my mind since late last year. In my opinion, this will be the next revolution in music technology following social and mobile.
How cool would it be to create a social-mobile music game that encourages music discovery and fan influence? Meet TasteMakerX, a San Francisco based start-up led by Co-Founder and CEO Marc Ruxin that has one of the most unique approaches to music discovery I have ever seen. Period…
TastemakerX combines social, mobile and gaming to create a virtual stock market for bands that allows users (TasteMakers) to influence the pricing of their favorite band in an open market system similar to Wall Street. Yes, we know Lana Del Rey is hot right now but she may not be worth as much as you think on the “streets.” Here is a brief interview I had last week with Marc about his companies unique approach to gaming and music discovery.
What is TasteMakerX?
It’s an individual taste graph for personal music preferences. In short, you download the app, we give you 25,000 notes which is the currency of the game and then you use the currency to build a portfolio of the artists that you love. The game acts a virtual stock market for bands. We take all of the bands and put them through an algorithm were we look at likes, fans, plays, albums and other elements to determine a price for each band. Every bands starts at a least .25 and the most expensive band right now is RADIOHEAD which is worth about $48.00. We price the bands and then we rate the players. So, the idea of the game is to discover the trending bands and the trending TasteMakers.
What is the ultimate goal for TasteMakerX?
We are trying to visualize whats trending in realtime; so people can listen to more music, go to more shows, and share more information about their favorite bands. If you are a band that has a lot of likes on Facebook it’s almost impossible to tell if these are active likes or passive likes.
In TasteMakerX, you will be able to easily see who are your biggest shareholders. If you are on tour in Portland, and your biggest shareholder lives there you can reward them with free tickets to your show. If you wanted reward your top 100 shareholders with a free song you could also do that as well. As a fan, whats cooler than getting free tickets to a show or a personal thank you note from your favorite band?
Sounds like you guys are a data company as well?
Yeah, I think the more people that are buying and selling you will be able to see who charting from an artists perspective and who’s charting from a TasteMaker’s perspective. So, if you have a lot of juice in the music ecosystem and you find the next big thing you will be able to share that with your friends on Facebook and as the price goes up you will be able to see your influence.
What has the feedback been since beta testing it?
People really love it. We are not a radio app at all. We are all about helping bands find those loyal; fans early on their career. We will should be ready to officially launch by Coachella.
What platforms will you be launching on?
iOS and web only. We will be rolling out android and Facebook in a 3 to 6 month time frame.