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TastemakerX: A fantasy league … for music?

TastemakerX

Fantasy sports leagues are super popular, and they’re cash cows. So it only makes sense that somebody would try to turn another American obsession – music – into a fantasy league at some point.

TastemakerX is doing just that. A social gaming platform focused on music discovery, TastemakerX is launching the world’s first fantasy leagues for music at SXSW, as it leaves beta testing and heads into wide release with $1.25 million in new funding under its belt.

How does TastemakerX work?

So how do you use it? TastemakerX offers a number of different features that could be stand-alone services in their own right – music discovery, music streaming, personalized radio, and gaming are all central ingredients to the experience. 

Instead of competing with music streaming services, the platform integrates them to foster the most comprehensive music gaming experience. When you sign up, you use Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes to listen to your favorite tracks. But that’s just the beginning.

With TastemakerX, you can showcase your taste in music by building a sharable “Collection” of your favorite artists. You’re given a starting amount of “Notes” and you can “Trade” to build your roster. Based on which groups and musicians you choose, TastemakerX creates a radio station for you, and people can listen to get a glimpse of what kind of music you like.

When you collect the artist, you have to pay a specific number of “Notes” per album you collect. And the artist’s price varies depending on how in demand they are. The TastemakerX homepage shows you which artists are popular and trending.

Now, fantasy sports leagues rely on what happens during the sports season to tabulate who wins and loses in the league. Since artists don’t compete against each other in the same way teams do, the fantasy league system is a bit different at TastemakerX.

As CEO and creator Marc Ruxin explained to Digital Trends, “Artists win when people add them to their collection … the more people that do that, the higher the price will go.”

So the more people who “collect” artists, the higher their value becomes, and the person who chooses the trendiest artists will win their league. It’s basically a battle of the hippest music taste – something that could get very competitive, very quickly.

The TastemakerX team will add external variables to the price of the artist over time, so that YouTube clicks and Spotify plays will also factor into the artist’s value.

Even if you hate competition, it’s a fun platform

Even if you’re not into the idea of battling your friends over who’s cooler, TastemakerX is still a worthwhile app. The radio stations it makes for you are fun to listen to, and you can discover new music by looking at the customized playlists of your friends.

Plus, you can share your collection in a non-competitive way with friends on Twitter and Facebook, so it’s also a good platform for magnanimously spreading the love about favored artists, as well as besting your friends.