Guest post by Maxim Mai
Serendip Media is a new social music discovery and streaming service that allows the people you follow on Twitter to curate your personal internet radio station. If your Twitter crowd is busy posting links to YouTube music videos and you feel comfortable sharing your secret love for WHAM! publicly then Serendip is worth a try.
Perusing my music library this morning, I was bored. The trusty jazz playlist had been stretched to its limits over the course of an intense weekend and I was not inclined to spend more money on songs suggested by Apple’s Genius algorithm, which had made a couple of odd suggestions in the past. Sounds familiar?
Enter Serendip, a new streaming service that promises to infuse the search for new and exciting music with a good deal of serendipity. The core idea is that the playlist of your personal streaming radio station is curated by the people you follow on Twitter and the tracks they share from services such as YouTube, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
Unlike Spotify, the playlist becomes more personalised and hopefully more relevant over time as you start muting tweeps who share to too much Justin Bieber (@toptweets is a case in point). You may also search for Twitter users and include them as DJs without following them on Twitter.
There is an important social element built into the service. If you love a tune someone has shared you can tweet them a #RockOn and if you want to tell your followers and listeners about a good song then you can do so by #Airing it.
Upon joining, I added all the people I follow on Twitter as potential DJs and completed a short quiz about my musical leanings. Moments later my first song started playing: Life Without You by Stevie Ray Vaughn, which was not a bad start. The songs that followed were a mixed bag and overwhelmingly did not come from people I follow on Twitter but from other users suggested by Serendip.
Apparently, the people I follow do not share much music and so Serendip unobtrusively stepped in to fill in the gaps. Over the last two days, I did not discover any new jazz but instead someone suggested a fresh new rock band from Sydney. However, because it is cumbersome to see your play history, I can not find their name again.
Serendip has been in private alpha since August 2011 and according to a Twapper Keeper Hashtag archive I set up one and a half days ago roughly 1400 listeners tweeted 500 unique URLs with the hash tag #Airing. This says nothing about the number of listeners on the service but indicates that a decent number of users are already engaging in the crucial act of helping others discover new music.
Much of the future success of Serendip depends on how people are going to use Twitter. For me, listening to music is largely a private activity and up until now, I have not widely shared my tastes and playlists online. Supposing for the moment that listening to my friends’ songs and sharing my suggestions with them proves valuable over time, I may feel more comfortable doing so on a more private network like Facebook rather than on my public Twitter timeline that is accessible to my boss or business partners.
However, co-founders Asaf Atzmon and Sagee Ben-Zedeff believe that the openness of Twitter and in turn of Serendip is a key strength of the service because if “all you can do is listen to your friends” and if on top of that “your catalogue is limited and restricted” then listeners will find little serendipity in their quest to discover new yet relevant music.
According to LinkedIn the company was founded in late 2010 and has five employees, including the two co-founders.