Friday, June 15, 2012

"Investing" in the next Lady Gaga

Fortune asks: do stockbrokers have an edge in discovering the next Lady Gaga? Probably not. But Marc Ruxin and Sandro Pugliese, co-founders of the social game TastemakerX, want to make finding the next hit artist look more like the New York Stock Exchange. The game, which allows players to unearth and support new bands, officially launched on Thursday, after months in beta mode.

Founded in 2011, the idea is for users to discover new bands by buying and selling an artist's "stock," which rises and falls depending on factors that include who's been buying it and the amount of buzz an artist is getting on and offline. Players get rich by earning "notes," the game's form of currency. In the real world, this translates to bragging rights: being the first to spot an unknown band before they're blowing up the airwaves. The pool of over 95,000 musical artists in the game have passed through the software's "IPO" algorithm, which determines a "stock's" initial pricing based on metrics like number of plays on -- another music discovery service -- and Facebook "likes…."

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