Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mix it up

One of my first businesses was an ill-fated venture with my friend Elvis. The Fonz was Eddie Haskel-esque in his ability to con all-comers to purchase a mix tape (TDK SK-90, of course), loaded with their favorite tunes. Three bucks a tape, if memory serves; we made less than a mint. I spun the vinyl (Elvis Costello, The Clash, OMD, Depeche Mode, and UB40 were faves), Elvis loaded a bowl, and the world (e.g., a handful of Davis teens) was musically a better place. The scratch of the between-song needle resonates today, as does the predictable source of our failure (Elvis got high on our own supply, giving away tapes to too many enamored amigas).

A Springwise post, Music Promotion with a Profit-Sharing Twist, reminded me of our bygone days.

Similar to GoodStorm's MixTape, which we covered earlier this year, Mixaloo is an online venture that lets music lovers create, distribute and sell custom mixes of the tracks they love and receive a share of the profits in return.
Twenty-five years later, companies are mimicking our juvenile efforts. Tell me more ...
Mixaloo, which just opened its doors to the public a few weeks ago [little late to the party, eh?], allows music fans to choose from more than 3 million songs [we boasted 200 or so albums; 3,000 songs, max] when they create their mix, including every major label and thousands of independent artists. Based on their searches, Mixaloo also suggests related artists to consider [intuitive search engines and vast choice? We called the shots.]. Once users finalize their mix, they can distribute it with 30-second song samples inside a widget to any personal or social networking website, or email it directly to their friends [email did not exist; our customers could pirate our pirated product by copying a tape for a friend].
Enough sarcasm; there's a valuable lesson therein:
"Everyone's favourite songs are closely tied to the experiences and memories they represent, which makes creating and sharing mix tapes such an enjoyable way for people to express themselves," explains Mark Stutzman, Mixaloo's cofounder and CEO. "We created Mixaloo to merge that experience with the viral nature of blogs and social networking communities, giving users the added incentive of earning cash for popular mixes. This 'social record store' creates a vast network of personal recommendations to increase sales and visibility for artists of all sizes."

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