Guitarati.com (Chicago, US) – an innovative music site, launched in private beta on February 14th, 2008 and in public beta on April 8th, 2008, introduces a new approach to music. That is through our perception of colour. Guitarati asks us to look within our soul and discover the colour that corresponds to our feeling at any given moment. Similarly, colours that correspond to a particular musical element will be discovered and then begins this interesting relationship between colour and music.
I had a chance to talk to the creator of Guitarati Sonal Pandey, who also brings to the table her software industry background, this is what she had to say:
Why is your site different than your competitors?
Guitarati provides an offbeat, intuitive way of music discovery based on music-color co-relation. Amidst a world of music discovery dominated by tag clouds, 1-10 rating systems and so forth, we wanted something that enabled users to easily find music that others had ‘felt’ the same about. In this way, we work orthogonally to the heavy number crunching music discovery algorithms and other social music discovery methods out there.
What is your business plan or model?
Users can listen to full length tracks for a cent, and these cents get deducted from the download price when they download the song. Or they can listen to free, high quality samples. Guitarati provides multiple means of revenue for bands and labels, as they get paid for song downloads as well as streaming. Bands and labels decide the price of their music and retain 75% of the earnings. We earn money through a cut of the music streaming and download sales.
Why did you start this website?
We want to create products and services that are fun, unconventional, perhaps even bizarre. Music discovery is one such step. On a serious note, we think that the future of massive data classification could be more intuition based. Of course, we don’t mean intuition in a woo-woo new-agey scaring-people-off way, but in a way that lets people follow their instincts. People use their instincts so often, may be more than we realize, that making a choice of music based purely on what color they feel attracted to at any given time is not so far-fetched after all.
Music color relation has been studied for ages and explored by the likes of Newton and Plato. Research and experience show that music and emotions are tightly coupled. The thought of color based music discovery occurred to us one day and then we started reading up on the this intriguing topic. And so we began working on the website 6 months ago.
How are you planning to market it?
We believe that simple, quirky means attract people’s attention better than somber campaigns costing thousands of dollars. We are using the power of social media and since our target visitors frequent social websites, we are benefitting from this approach. Other than this, we are regularly being written about in blogs.
Any other information that you believe is relevant to your startup?
We utilized the private beta period to invite bands and record labels to upload their music while we parallelly tested and finished our back-end systems. The website is now open to everyone who has an interest in music or color or both. Responses from website users have been ranging from ‘love it’ to ‘I don’t get it’ and everything in between. But the bottom-line of all feedback has been curiosity. That we think is a good start.
Certainly Guitarati is an innovative and interesting approach to music that will definitely build hype among music enthusiasts and surfers alike. In this day and age, building sites that cater to a different perspective on a known concept or perhaps an entirely different concept is a promising approach. Also, having a sense of creativity and a honest desire to present ideas and concepts in a different light are really praiseworthy. In that regard, I have much anticipation for Guitarati and the curiousity it creates.