Like many, I wasted a whole bunch of hours at Turntable.fm during the summer of 2011. Not only was I a big fan of the immersive nature of realtime social music site where I got to virtual DJ with my coworkers at Gigaom (and other assorted guests who dropped in), but I also found it to be a great music discovery tool.
But the problem I always found was the site was overly immersive. With Turntable.fm, while I tried to use it as Internet radio, the site almost required your full attention, something which is difficult as a desk-job information worker.
I suspect I wasn’t alone. After the initial novelty of virtual DJ sessions wore off, the crowds at Turntable.fm shrank. I’d occasionally go back over the past year and it was clear the users had dwindled significantly.
And today, they announced that Turntable.fm would soon be no more, as they would be shutting down the site to focus on their live online music event platform, Turntable Live.
Will their new focus as a platform for live online music events be the right pivot? Maybe. However, given the dollar amount of the recent event they pointed to ($670), I’m not that hopeful there will be enough money to go around to sustain a venture-funded company.
Still, turning off Turntable.fm was as much about controlling costs (like the royalties paid for the music spun in their rooms) as anything, and now the company can at least slow the burn and focus on building the platform.