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blossoming 8track

8tracks blossoms with user forums

The tech investment world is discovering (we’ve known about it here for quite a while). Forbes has a huge story about the music playlist application titled “What if You Became a Big Company, But No One Noticed?” (translation: “no one” equals “people with money”). The piece cites a Comscore survey identifying 8tracks as the third most popular iOS music service, only trailing Pandora and [sigh] iHeartRadio.

VentureBeat has a similar story: “8tracks is an awesome (and profitable) music startup you’ve probably never heard of.” It notes that 8tracks now ranks at number six for the 18-24 Internet music listening audience and is on the same royalty-payment schedule as Pandora.

But what has my attention is that 8tracks now features user forums. The company launched the forum system in April, but I thought I’d wait some weeks to see some results, and they’re quite wonderful. There’s a big discussion about the best movie soundtrack that is now over 250 posts long, with folks talking up their movie playlists, among them “The Dude’s Mix” from The Big Lebowski. Another 8tracks user, having acquired a chicken, now has a “name my chicken” discussion in which she asks for names plus music ideas for a chicken playlist.

The “playlists for the broken hearted” thread speaks for itself. The “TV show inspired mixes” conversation brings back lots of great memories. And I’m surprised (and pleased) at the number of people checking out classic authors such as Wilde, Poe, and Kafka on the “What are You Reading Right Now?” discussion list.

The move to launch a discussion list appears to have been user driven, 8tracks notes on its blog:

“Last year, some of our most active community members formed a group on Facebook — ‘8tracks Friends’ — to facilitate shared conversations and support real-world friendships among group members. These weren’t the only listeners looking to build friendships with other 8tracks listeners and DJs, and we’ve received a growing number of requests for private messaging.”

There’s no point in creating a social music/radio app if your users can’t communicate with each other. And the more they can, the better.

Meanwhile the fashion blogs are pondering the news that Eminem’s ‘Till I Collapse’ is the most popular Spotify workout song. Billboard asked The Echo Nest data group to query 40 million Spotify user accounts for the most frequently tapped tunes during workout/running/training sessions. Here are the top five:

‘Till I Collapse’ (Eminem, Nate Dogg)
‘Levels’ – Radio Edit (Avicci)
‘Remember the Name’ (Fort Minor)
‘Bangarang’ – feat.Sirah (Skrillex)
‘Wake Me Up’ (Avicci)

Later picks include ‘Greyhound’, by the Swedish House Mafia, and ‘Bulls on Parade’, by Rage Against the Machine. If you want some dance tune recommendations, NPR has a SoundCloud top five tapped from its SoundCloud account. Number one: Floating Points’ ‘King Bromeliad,’ number two: Moire’s ‘BBOY 202,’ and number three: San Francisco programmer Avalon Emerson’s remix of Some Ember’s ‘The Thrashing Whip’.

Speaking of SoundCloud, the company’s co-founder and CTO told The Guardian on Thursday that a bunch of “monetisation approaches” for making cash and passing some of it on to musicians are in the works. “We’re testing out different things: throwing a couple of things out there and testing the waters a bit. We’re super-excited about where this stuff can go,” Eric Wahlforss explained.

What kind of stuff? The newspaper asked for specifics, to which came this reply: “I can’t talk a lot in detail about it, it hasn’t rolled out at any bigger scale yet, but we are looking to create a user experience that’s very elegant, frictionless, open and also has an element of monetisation.”

Finally, it appears that the Federal Bureau of Investigation thinks that MySpace still matters. has uncovered an FBI document titled “Twitter Shorthand,” a glossary of terms used on Twitter, “and other social media venues such as instant messages, Facebook, and MySpace.”

It is actually a very useful guide with 2,800 entries, among them BIOYIOP (“blow it out your I/O port”) and PMYMHMMFSWGAD (“pardon me, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a damn”). As for MySpace, struggling to make a comeback, this is yet another reason to ALOTBSOL (“always look on the bright side of life”).

We cover social music sharing communities  every Monday in our Internet DJ feature.

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