March 18, 2009

Loudcrowd Combines Music With Online Social Interaction

On Tuesday, Conduit Labs launched Loudcrowd.com, a website combining music, music-oriented games, e-commerce, and social networking.

"There are many places to listen to music online, but most offer passive activities or lack actual social interaction," said Nabell Hyatt, chief executive for Conduit Labs.

"We are striving to create a new platform that allows people to connect with music and friends in ways they never have before."

Conduit unveiled Loudcrowd at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Texas.

The website streams continuous music while characters play with others.

Winners of games in Loudcrowd earn rewards such as digital music or virtual clothing for their characters.

Loudcrowd already includes over 250 songs from popular artists like Justice, Santigold, Friendly Fires, and The Twelves.

The company hopes to echo experiences like music concerts or night clubs within the website.

Conduit claims that their users spend double the time in Loudcrowd than on other music service sites like Last.fm or Pandora.

The company plans to make money through music, and "music related virtual goods."

They have already partnered with some record labels including Beggars Group, Domino, Downtown Records, and Modular.

"We understand that the way people consume music is evolving, and we are committed to building more interactive, creative channels for our artists," said Simon Wheeler of Beggars Group to AFP.

"Loudcrowd is the first I've seen that is built around discovering and interacting with music through games, and represents the type of new revenue stream and business model our industry needs to embrace."

Loudcrowd's release comes on the heels of a report by NPD Group showing that the number of Americans buying digital music is growing while those buying compact discs are declining.

According to the study, the number of people buying digital music online increased from 8 million to 36 million last year, while the number of consumers buying CDs in the U.S. declined by 17 million.

NPD also said that digital music downloads now account for one third of all music tracks purchased in the U.S.

Conduit Labs is a private company backed by Prism Ventureworks, and Charles River Ventures.


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