For the last few months our team has been focused on building and launching Turntable Live, an interactive way to hold concerts online. We’ve done 11 events and so far everyone has really loved the experience. To see what it looks like, check out this video or learn more at turntable.com. Our last performance with Nat & Alex Wolff raised $670 and had 170 people tune in from all over the world. You can watch a song from it here (along with our new gif feature).
With turntable.fm, one of our consistently well performing features has been bringing artists on and having people hang out and chat with them. Our largest event with Knife Party saw over 20,000 people (bigger than Madison Square Garden). It was pretty amazing and we saw a world of potential.
People started asking for more events. Artists wanted the ability to perform live. We saw there was a real desire for artists to reach more fans than normally possible with a regular live show.
So we started building Turntable Live. We did it for artists. They are relying more and more on live performances to offset dwindling record sales and small digital payouts. We did it for fans. We wanted to let fans connect with the bands they love and interact with them by asking questions, sending photos, and enjoying their performances.
For over 2 years, we’ve improved and evolved the turntable.fm experience. We made rooms expand to unlimited sizes, made thousands of UI improvements, launched GOLD, built a mini-player, designed tons of avatars and listened to our community, trying to make the experience as wonderful as possible. Over those two years, the community has played over 400 million songs in about a million rooms.
As much as we all love turntable.fm, we have decided to shut it down to fully concentrate on the Live experience. It was a tough decision to make because we love this community so much, but the cost of running a music service has been too expensive and we can’t outpace it with our efforts to monetize it and cut costs. If we also want to give Turntable Live a real shot, we need to fully focus on it.
It’s hard news for all of us, but we want to at least go out in style.
Thanks for all the amazing times, songs played, conversations had, and people we met together!
<3 Team Turntable
Only four more days until Nat & Alex’s concert on Turntable Live! They are almost at their goal, but the concert won’t happen if they don’t meet their goal. You can make it happen RIGHT NOW!
Get your ticket today for a chance to hear music from Nat & Alex, chat live with them, and send them pictures:
Nat & Alex Wolff are halfway to their ticket goal on Turntable Live! You can make this happen! If you want the show to go on, grab a ticket for their first online super concert now. You’ll get a live show from Nat & Alex, you can ask the guys anything you want, share pictures, and chat with other fans from all over the world. It’s going to be awesome!
Snag your ticket here:
We’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the silent song issue and have a fix out. However, this fix will take some time to fully go into effect. Over the next few days you will still get some silent songs, but after that it should be the end of the silent song issue.
The short version of what was happening is that database updates were not being applied to search/playback correctly. That means that you could still see a song in your queue or in search results, but it wouldn’t actually be in the database anymore and wouldn’t play correctly. Our update will bring queues and search results back in line with what’s actually in the database. This means that some songs will be removed from queues, but we will also get new songs in the database.
Unfortunately, this update will not fix the ‘incorrect song length’ glitch. We’re still working on that one.
Other fixes that have gone out this week are:
The Grim Reaper Halloween avatar won’t appear as black boxes when they’re in the crowd anymore.
The mummy kid avatars work correctly now.
Check out these great behind the scenes photos from the CBGB Festival on Turntable Live! We had a rad time rocking out with the artists. If you missed the first week of Turntable Live check out this video to catch up:
One of our most requested features from the beginning has been to integrate SoundCloud search into our library. Turntable has always been a place to find new music, and part of that has been powered by people getting tracks from SoundCloud and then uploading them to Turntable. Doing that removed our ability to link to the original creator and doesn’t properly credit the track. Yesterday we released a change that made that much easier.
The other benefits to playing SoundCloud songs is there is no DMCA limit as they are being powered by SoundCloud and there’s no 30 second cutoff for the same reason.
The State of Turntable
Turntable has been live for more than two years now. For the first two years, we fully focused on trying to make the experience better. We also built a sister product, Piki, that tried to be a more laid back version of Turntable. We did this because even from the beginning, we noticed a large percentage of people that used Turntable burned out after a few weeks because it required too much attention. We still wanted to have music powered by people, and it’s important for a startup to be continually growing (and eventually monetize), so we decided to try building a more laid back experience. More on Piki in a second.
Our mission here at Turntable has always been to connect people with each other and discover amazing artists. We get so many stories of people meeting new friends and even getting married to people they met on Turntable. It’s really inspiring.
Early on, we decided to partner with the labels and do everything by the book. There were pros and cons to this. One of the biggest cons is it has been very expensive. We spend tens of thousands of dollars a month in royalties, service fees, hosting, etc. We could have removed a ton of that cost by just simply using YouTube or another service, but we felt it would dramatically reduce the ease of use and user experience.
So that leaves us in a tough place. We started turning on ways for the community to help support us (GOLD) and methods to offset some streaming costs for non-gold members (ads). Thank you to everyone who has joined in. It means a ton to us.
All of this is in the hope to try and neutralize the cost of running Turntable so that we can keep it running. The change we made yesterday, removing the ability to upload music directly, will reduce our monthly bill by roughly $20,000. That’s a huge saving that we need and we thought validated adding an extra step to uploading (upload it on SoundCloud and search for it on Turntable). It was a choice we had to make to keep the service running.
There have been a couple incorrect pieces of information floating around, so let me take a moment to clear those up.
I’m also sad to announce today that we are going to shut down Piki in a couple weeks. We poured ourselves into it and built a really amazing product powered by people picking songs. However it just didn’t have the traction that we were hoping for, so we are closing it to fully focus on Turntable. We are sending out an email today to Piki users and there’s a method to export your data to Spotify or CSV file.
We are still working on new features to Gold every month. We just released a few new avatars and have some more coming today.
The Exciting Future
Over the last few months, we have been building something we do all the time with artists on Turntable, events. I can’t go into too much detail right now, but it’s going to involve artists and have a very live element to it! We are planning on giving more details in a couple weeks, but need to finish up a few things first. We all can’t wait to show it to you.
Aside from that, we love interacting and DJing with our community. Turntable is incredibly important to us and we want to see it stick around. We aren’t trying to kill it, you are watching us fight for it.
See you on Turntable,
If you heard a track during the set that you’d like to revisit, here’s Flux’s setlist from tonight:
Flux Pavilion - Do or Die (Flosstradamus Remix)
Habstrakt - The Rise
Genetix - Squid Attack (FuntCase Remix)
Flux Pavillion - The Scientist
Slum Dogz - The Jungle Book
Roksonix - 2 Bad VIP
Brown and Gammon - The Combination
Roksonix - Dog Fight
Flux Pavillion - I Feel It
Knife Party - EDMDeath Machine
Autoerotique & Felix Cartal - The Alarm
Roksonix - Music In Me (Doctor P Remix)
Ledgend Dirty Phonics remix
Habstrakt - Bubbles
Flux Pavilion feat. Sway and P Money - Double Edge
Flux Pavilion - Blow the Roof
The McMash Clan -Swing Break feat. Kate Mullins
Mizuki - Block Party
Flux Pavillion - Starlight
Mizuki - Helios
Flux Pavillion - I Still Cant Stop
Funtcase - Out For Da Milli
Zedd - Clarity featuring foxes (Brillz Remix)
Cookie Monsta - Yow Mumma
Funtcase - Ghosts
SKisM - Elixir VIP
Doctor P - Watch Out (Slum Dogz VIP Mix)
Rusko - Belleve
Bassnectar - Raw Charles
Flux Pavilion feat. Childish Gambino - Do Or Die
Doctor P - Champagne Bop
Mizuki - Damn F*#cking Right
Setting Sun (Antiserum & Mayhem Remix)
The McMash Clan - Jericho ft Million Dan
Must Die - Fever Dream
Cookie Monsta and FuntCase - Atom Bomb
Flux Pavillion - One Two Three
Anti Serum - Trippy
Antiserum & Mayhem - Bangladesh
Doctor P - Bulletproof feat. Eva Simons
Flux Pavilion and SKisM - Jump Back feat. Foreign Beggars
Doctor P & Dillon Francis - Music is Dead