One of China’s leading music-streaming and subscription music sites, Xiami, has this week launched a Turntable.fm clone to let its users be DJs. Called Xiami Loop, it’s centred around virtual rooms where up to five people can take it in turns to mix tracks, impress the gathered audience of avatars, and win new fans.
With the emphasis on being social, the rooms resemble nightclubs (pictured above) where those gathered to listen can chat and rate the music mix (as ‘strong’ or ‘weak’), dance with your baby , or follow along with the lyrics for a bit of private karaoke.
On a sidenote, a smaller music service named Duomi made this move first, last October launching its Duomi DJ site.
Announcing the launch of Loop on the Xiami company blog, a staffer wrote, “Welcome to the era of social DJs […] You can look forward to more themes, more avatars, and more fun to come.” The service is free, and is tagged onto the original Xiami music-streaming site, which closely resembles Last.fm.
Xiaomi itself is free so long as users only ever stream music (pictured above), but downloads require payment via its own virtual currency. According to TechRice, Xiami has grown to have five million registered users since its inception a little over four years ago. Its main rivals include the hobby-based indie social network Douban, Tencent’s (HKG:0700) QQ Music, and Baidu’s (NASDAQ:BIDU) Ting.
But, in contrast to Tencent’s and Baidu’s efforts, not all of Xiami’s music is licensed, leaving it at great legal risk. It currently relies on users uploading entire albums and then, insists its CEO, it’ll get round to trying to license much of its music in due course. But that’s far from complete.
By happy coincidence, I just signed up for Xiami a few weeks ago, and so I’ve played around with Xiami Loop just now and had a chance to browse a few rooms and see what the social DJs are playing. With all the music coming from Xiami’s large – and admirably eclectic – collection, there certainly are plenty of tunes to spin on the decks.
Give Xiami Loop a go, though it requires free registration, with the option of third-party login via Renren or Sina Weibo.
With apologies to Madonna for that and the article title. ↩