Splash.FM : The Social Network for Discovering New Music

Splash.FM : The Social Network for Discovering New Music

New site uses the power of social networking to help discover and share good music with family, friends and others.

One of the exciting new directions that online music streaming is headed these days is in harnessing the power of social networking to help wade through the growing clutter of crappy bands out there vying for your precious listening time.

Splash.FM is a newly created social music discovery platform that helps users discover exciting new music, and share their favorite tunes with family, friends, and others.

“Nothing beats friend-based recommendations,” write the site’s co-founders, Jason Fiedler and Alex Gatof, in a press release. “It’s true with many categories—clothes, television shows, movies—but especially true with music,” says Fiedler, “There is something about the social nature of it; music just sounds better on Splash.FM.”

Search Splash.FM to find songs by keyword, artist, or title. Hear a song you like? “Splash” it and leave a comment to let others know. View the Splashboard to see what you’ve splashed, the “Most Splashed,” and “Top Splashers.” Upload music from your personal collection to share with your followers.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Allow users to follow their friends and other influencers, and discover new music based on “who you know” mechanics versus a “what it sounds like” algorithm
  • Awards a “Splash Score”- ranking system for earlier users that discover good music.
  • “Billboard”-like charts of what songs are trending among the friends you follow and on the site overall (the “splashboard”)

“In the most basic terms, Splash.FM allows you to create a profile, follow your friends, browse for songs, and ‘Splash’ the ones you love,” writes a PR rep for Splash.FM in an email exchange.

In broad terms that’s exactly what Splash.FM does, and that’s exactly why Splash.FM is such an interesting new development in the world of online music streaming. Now you can use the power of social networking to discover and share good music.

The only shortcoming I see is that the songs are mostly cobbled together from iTunes, and therefore limited to an all-too-quick 29 second preview clip. Users can upload tracks to share, and allow others to download, but I’m sure at some point there will have to be a mechanism in place to police infringement so as not to risk drawing the ire of record labels.

Being largely preview-oriented puts it at a disadvantage compared to sites like We Are Hunted and HypeMachine which both offer full track-playback, but Splash.FM co-founder Jason Fielder brushes aside those concerns by emphasizing that his site takes “social sentiment-based (music) recommendations…a step further in giving everyone a chance to be that blog, as well as platform to choose exactly which people (“blogs”) to follow.”

From this standpoint We Are Hunted and HypeMachine may offer full track-playback, but Splash.FM offers a more tailored music experience. Rather than be subjected to the whims and tastes of the unruly mob at large you can fine tune how and with whom you discover and share new music.

“So we believe, and have found, following your social graph and select other users to provide much better recommendations,” he adds in an email exchange. “Plus, the comments, @mentions, etc. makes the whole discovery experience more fun, and the Splash Score actually puts your reputation at stake.”

All in all I think Splash.FM is mainly a quick music discovery site rather than a destination where you’ll want to stay a while. How long can you listen seriously to music in 29 second bursts? My guess is that it’ll be mainly geared toward people looking for music to stream in full-length (YouTube) or download (BitTorrent) elsewhere. You can grab the list of “Most Splashed” songs and then use it as a shopping list of sorts.

Splash.FM is still in Private Beta, but plans to go live some time in the next 2-3 months.

Stay tuned.

[email protected] | @jaredmoya


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