First, they’ve closed $7.5 million series A round of financing led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Note: competitor Tagged announced a $7 million financing led by Mayfield in February 2006.
This comes as Tagworld hits an important milestone – 1 million members and counting since their launch on November 11, 2005. while this is still just a drop in the Myspace bucket of 60 odd million members, its still a lot of people using the service after a very short period of time.
Tagworld will be launching a number of new products and partnerships this week as well:
I’ve been asking for Pandora (TechCrunch posts here) to be built into third party music engines for a long time (I’d like to listen to streaming music and occasionally branch off into Pandora discovered similar music at any time.
Tagworld hasn’t partnered with Pandora but they are launching something similar. While listening to music on the Tagworld music player (pop up player or embedded into Tagworld sites), a user can branch off at any time with the click of a button to hear related music – and this includes both big name artists as well as indie’s that are using Tagworld to become noticed.
The engine is powered by user ratings of artists, albums and songs, and individual ratings are weighted according to a number of additional (and proprietary) factors. The result? Listen to the music you like, and branch off to discover new related music at any time.
Tagworld is also launching a new music video product through a partnership with Universal Music Group. Unlike Myspace, which only allows viewing of videos on a Myspace page (and then only in Internet Explorer), Tagworld will allow integration of music videos directly into any Tagworld site, and will work with IE or Firefox.
Initial included artists include 50 Cent, Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Nelly, The Killers, Jack Johnson, U2, Fall Out Boy, Snoop Dog, The Bravery and Daddy Yankee.
Tagworld has also released a classifieds area for members. Any member can now build an online store very easily.
Acquisition rumors for Tagworld are already swirling through the valley, although founder Evan Rifkin flatly denies any discussions with acquirors and says that they are focused entirely on building the business now that they’ve raised this round of financing. And while Myspace (and Facebook) continue to dominate the market for teen home pages, the constantly refreshing nature of their customer base (people grow out of Myspace and millions of new teens enter the market every year) means that they must find new ways to “stay cool” and appeal to this fickle market.