Turntable.fm has been struggling to stay afloat, and it's now looking to live, streaming performances to help it get back on track. Turntable Live is the company's new service, and it's officially debuting tonight at 7PM ET with a performance by the folky pop outfit Beat Radio. While you might see hints of Turntable.fm inside Turntable Live, the new service looks a whole lot different: you have to buy a ticket to watch each show, and all of the music is performed live by an artist at the company's studio.
Not quite the same as being there live
How viewers interact is a lot different too. There'll be a chat room, and the band is expected to interact with it to some extent during the show as though it were chatter from an audience at a live concert. That live concert experience is one that Turntable seems to be hoping to somewhat replicate. It'll also broadcast viewers' cheers and show photos that viewers take for the band. It's a bit more social than watching a concert film by yourself, but it comes far from resembling a sweaty, ear shattering, energetic live music event.
Turntable will be broadcasting its first lineup of performances from tonight through Friday, featuring a different artist each night. Tickets are $3 each, but so far none of the performances have sold particularly well — no show has topped 20 sales by the time of publication. While most venues wouldn't publicize their ticket sales, it's actually an integral part of Turntable Live. If an artist doesn't sell enough tickets — a number that varies for every show — the show just doesn't happen. It's a far different business model than Turntable.fm, one with a bigger barrier to entry for viewers, but one that could help the service dodge some of the costly rights and hosting issues it's been struggling with.