SoundOff.fm, a web-based service for musicians to gain exposure, launched today.
"Jim and I created SoundOff.fm because we knew how overwhelming it could be for listeners to find new music in a flooded internet environment," co-founder Dan Arwady tells LAUNCH via email. "Moreover, it’s become harder than ever for new artists to gain a fan base."
Musicians upload a 20 second snippet for users to vote up or down on the leaderboard. There are two voting methods: Fair Shake, which lets users vote for the best of two random tracks, and Snap Judgment, a rapid voting round where users have two minutes to listen and vote for as many songs as they can.
As users vote, they earn credits that can be used towards tipping an artist or downloading a track. Users earn five points for a Fair Shake vote -- 15 points for voting for a Trending Track -- and one point for a Snap Judgment vote -- three points for voting for a Trending Track.
Artists can use their points to showcase their profile, feature their track, FastTrack their track to appear in more battles, challenge a specific track or sponsor a CAPTCHA. Artists can also add a mailing list and gigs to their SoundOff.fm profile. The mailing list lets users sign up for updates directly on the artist's profile page, while upcoming shows are sortable by location in the public Featured Gigs calendar.
Dan says that while other sites like Pandora, Spotify and Turntable.fm are admirable recommendation engines, those services are mostly only good for mainstream artists.
"It's still hard for the 'little guy' to get himself out there, and users still miss out on artists they would probably enjoy," Dan says. "[SoundOff.fm] is purely music vs. music, and this simple blind A/B test turns the music discovery process completely on its head."
Chicago-based SoundOff.fm was founded by Dan Drwady and Jim Skuros, and launched in private beta in July 2011.
To upload a track, you must first sign up as an artist, which is free to do. Click "Upload Track" from the main toolbar to browse audio files on your computer.
After uploading your song, slide the audio selection tool to select the best 20 seconds of your track.
The leaderboard lists the top tracks in battle, voters with the best music taste and most active voters.
Profile pages feature an artist bio, uploaded tracks, gigs, challenges, videos and battles fought.
Fair Shake voting requires users to fully listen to both tracks before voting. Once both tracks play, click the star that appears below each track to vote.
After voting for a song, the results page shows you how other users voted in the battle.
Snap Judgment voting lets you listen and vote for as many songs as you can in two minutes.
After two minutes, SoundOff shows Snap Judgment results where you can see how many wins and losses each track has.
CONTACTS & LINKS
Dan Arwady, Co-founder
Jim Skuros, Co-founder