Turntable Is Banking On Live Performances To Turn Itself Around

Turntable Live lets fans interact with artists and other fans.

Music festivals typically evoke images of blankets on lawns, sunburned crowds, and overpriced beer. But what if you could skip all that to focus on music? With the CBGB Festival in New York underway, Turntable.fm is trying something new, streaming four band performances in an interactive Google Hangout-like experience.

Four of CBGB's acts--Beat Radio, Born Cages, Cheetah Chrome, and Saint Rich--will be broadcast on Turntable Live, which fans can watch for $3 apiece. The hope is that Turntable Live can turn the company around, amid soaring costs and the shutdown of Piki.fm, its lean-back social music app.

Turntable Live allows artists to schedule shows performed at the company's studio in New York City or elsewhere. Fans who buy tickets--70% of the gross revenue goes directly to the artists--can interact with the musicians by asking questions and posting photos. To carry the energy of live shows over to the web, Turntable Live can also stream the audio of people cheering at home. It's not exactly the same as watching a live act, but it's certainly easier than being a touring groupie.

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