— the mixtape-making service shut down last fall by the recording industry — is back. But instead of letting anyone make illegal music playlists, it’s taking a new direction — a “a minimalist platform for bands to promote their music and listeners to create mixes.”
What’s the point? Muxtape customers — bands — will be able to upload their music to the platform and use Muxtape’s simple, attractive player to promote their music.
Muxtape visitors will also be able to create a mix from the music available on the site. That’ll be a challenge while the library remains small (and mostly indie). But if it works for lesser-known artists, it’s always possible bigger acts will sign on.
(sceptics should observe iPhone game maker Tapulous, which started “Tap Tap Revenge” with indie music, and by Christmas was selling co-branded apps with Nine Inch Nails and Weezer.)
How will Muxtape (and its musician partners) make money?
Artist pages will never be forced to display ads. The functionality of Muxtape will expand over time; in addition to streaming music, we will enable bands to easily sell downloads, issue tickets, create and sell merchandise, network with other bands and listeners, and track the way their music is being heard across the system. An API will be available to expand the platform even further.
Will it work? Who knows. It’s easy to count Muxtape out — the music industry is too tight, too greedy, etc.
But as fellow NYC startup Tumblr has proven, there’s room for clean, simple services that mostly reproduce related, less-clean, less-simple services. For instance, we could see musicians pimping their songs on MySpace for its huge user base — while separately pushing Muxtape for its design and simplicity.