Back in January, it was rumored that hip social music site This Is My Jam might be moving out from under the wing of music data company The Echo Nest, which had incubated the site as a side project. Its creators, Matthew Ogle and Hannah Donovan, have now been given the green light to spin out the site from its parent, and are bootstrapping the next phase of the London-based music startup’s life. The Echo Nest will retain an interest in the newly formed This Is My Jam LLC, as will early Jam engineers Andreas Jansson and Ralph Cowling.
This Is My Jam was born as a sort of hack. Ogle and Donavan built the site because they wanted a place to be focused around songs, not drop off the real-time feeds as they would on Facebook and Twitter.
Despite this scrappy birth, 1.5 million ‘jams’ have been posted to date, and a few clone sites have appeared. The reason? It does one thing very well: single song-sharing. People can share their favorite music track-by-track. This has led it to become populated with obsessive music fans, instead of lots of casually engaged people (cough, Spotify, Rdio cough, etc). This means it now has quite the engagement metrics.
Because the site is all about what people are listening to now, it has a “live” experience and is more focused than the casual randomness of normal streaming services. The result is a slower, more thoughtful, but more intimate song sharing experience.
“We help you make the song look and sound great, you can customise the imagery and the story around the song and share it to all platforms,” says Ogle.
“You share one song, it lasts for a week. We are gradually building up a “song graph” around users. This is for fans, not people you went to high school with who happen to be also on the streaming music service you are on. So for music discovery it’s been very good as the signal to noise ratio is great.”
“Everyone else competes on Catalogue, but we have this core of popular songs,” he adds.
Ogle was formerly head of web product at Last.fm back in 2010, but took up a post of evangelist in Europe for The Echo Nest and “skunkworks” guy, prototyping new products. Unusually, Ogle and Donovan have been working together since university, and were part of the original Last.fm team that grew the service from 0.5 to 40+ million users. They also created accidental hit Drinkify.org at a hack day.
Ogle says: “Our users have told us ‘this is my favourite song in the world right now’ over a million times. This is data we didn’t have when we started, but more importantly, the intensity of preference expressed by every jam is unlike anything we’ve worked with previously.”
They plan to launch the site onto mobile platform – but there is no talk of fund-raising just yet.