Naming your company Thefuture.fm is kind of a bold move. Sure, it’s fun at first, but if things go badly, you’re setting yourself up for lots of bad puns (“No future for Thefuture.fm,” etc.). Luckily, the site seems to be off to a good start.
Founder and CEO David Stein says the service first launched about eight months ago as Dubset, which he now describes as a beta test. After refining and iterating on that initial version, the site relaunched on April 25 under its current, awesomer name. In the first three days after the launch, Thefuture.fm claims to have doubled its user base to more than 100,000.
The goal was to create “a place where people can relive the experience that they got seeing a great DJ in a club,” Stein says, by allowing DJs to share their mixes. There are other sites for sharing music mixes, but Thefuture.fm makes the process easy for DJs, thanks to audio fingerprinting technology that it’s calling mixSCAN. DJs can just upload their full mix without worrying about track listings, because mixSCAN supposedly identifies all of the songs automatically, including where they start and stop in a mix. That allows Thefuture.fm to handle all of the rights and payments issues. (mixSCAN partners include BMI, SoundExchange, ASCAP, SESAC, NARM, and Sony Gracenote.)
The site is completely free for now, although you’re prompted to create an account after you’ve been listening for a few minutes. Eventually, Stein plans to move to a “freemium” model, where users have to pay for things like mobile access. There are some opportunities for advertising, like matching up advertisers with DJs who can create brand- or campaign-specific mixes.
And the monetization strategy goes beyond the site itself, because Stein says he’s also looking at licensing the mixSCAN platform to others.
All in all, it looks like Thefuture.fm has a bright fu —
No, I can’t do it.