This guest post from Brenna Ehrlich of MTV O Music Awards.
We haven’t heard much from social music service Turntable.fm for a while now, but today the platform is out with some big news — literally. The site has increased the size of its rooms (there used to be a 200-person limit) allowing casual users access to even the most packed of arenas and power users an even bigger audience.
When Turntable.fm launched in 2011, it was huge, buzzy and extremely popular [see our initial story]. Over the last year, however, the initial frenzy has died down, and several pundits have declared the hype over Turntable.fm dwindling or dead.
Now, it seems, Turntable.fm is out with some big news that its co-founder, Billy Chasen, thinks is the most drastic to date. In the past, rooms were only able to house 200 people, now, you can cram as many people as you like in a digital venue — when a room fills up, additional people will be sent to “overflow” rooms where they will be able to chat with DJs and other people in the room (but not with folks in other overflow rooms). This is a vital addition when dealing with popular DJs and famous musicians dropping new tracks. I used to run Turntable.fm rooms with bands when I worked at Mashable, and we often had issues with overcrowding. Sometimes we even succeeded in “breaking” Turntable.fm.
In addition, Turntable.fm has widened its digital rooms, rearranged the song queue and chat box so that they’re in separate tabs for easier navigation, and integrated the “favoriting” functions into the DJ booth — just mouse over the icon to save a song to your queue or to purchase or add it on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Apparently, these tweaks are only available on the Web right now, but will soon launch on mobile.
Although the addition of mega rooms is a much-needed change, one has to wonder: Is this too little, too late? Turntable’s userbase is significantly less than what it once was in its heyday — it had 140,000 users in its first month and now, according to Mashable, it has 120,000 users total more than a year after launch. However, apparently TT.fm is looking to go international, though, which could be the real Hail Mary when it comes to reviving the foundering service.
Brenna Ehrlich is the senior writer for the MTV O Music Awards. She previously worked atMashable and Heeb magazine, and is the co-founder of blog and book, Stuff Hipsters Hate. She likes listening to songs on repeat.