If you haven’t tried it out yet, turntable is a site where you can create a room, name it whatever you want, and start to DJ.
You can have up to 5 DJs at a time, and everyone else is in the audience. You can rate songs as “awesome” or “lame”.
Pretty simple… and they’re definitely not the first to create a social music listening platform. Many others have done really well like blip.fm, spotify, last.fm and more.
There’s something unique about turntable. Something that has launched it to over 140,000 users in the first month.
What is it that turntable did so well?
They got the gaming aspect down right. If you can do that, the rest (social share, WOM, user retention) all thrive.
They nailed the gaming interface on two levels. If you want the best gaming experience you can get, then check out UnrankedSmurfs.
1. Real time recognition
Being a DJ on turntable in a popular room is scary! Will people like the songs I play? I like indie music, but there are a lot of indie snobs out there.
We do this in real life naturally. Think about when people come in your car and you play your favorite, relatively unknown band, and everyone loves it. Think about when people DJ at house parties.
The thing is, in real life, you don’t have these passive aggressive “awesome” and “lame” buttons for people to judge you.
So turntable works really well in real time. You want to impress the other people in your room.
2. Long term recognition
Real time isn’t enough. Recognition needs to be ongoing…long-term. It needs to be cumulative so that it constantly drives activity.
When you join a new room, you want the people in that room to know what you’ve accomplished. With their point system and avatar (visual) system, turntable executed on this really well.
The visual aspect is key. As soon as you join a room, you can see the hierarchy of users’ experience. The people with cooler avatars are the ones with more experience (and respect).
Interestingly enough, they don’t actually get any physical rewards for this. They have no more power than anyone else in the room. Someone with 1 point can do the same exact thing as someone with 1000 points. The driving force is all based on social equity and respect.
This is the same exact system that has been online gaming so successful time and time again. This system of “leveling up” creates a tension amongst users where from day 1, all they want is to improve their status.
3. Insert the share
Of course, you could only improve your status if you’re a DJ, and the best way to become a DJ is to start a room from scratch.
Users wouldn’t tweet it out just because they wanted to share something interesting. They’d tweet it out, because sharing was the only way that they could improve their status.
It’s all really fucking genius.