Turntable.fm now has the approval of the four major record labels, allowing tunes to be legally streamed by virtual DJs to music enthusiasts using the service. The partnerships with Sony, EMI, Warner, and Universal were announced during a panel discussion during SXSW Tuesday.
Turntable lets you DJ music of your choice to listeners in virtual rooms that resemble clubs. Most popular music is stored on Turntable itself, but if you want to spin a jam that isn't available you can also upload tracks from your personal computer to share with the crowd.
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Turntable officially launched in June of last year to much fanfare, although some questions existed on how legal the service actually was. "Our model is unique - we're not a radio service, not an on-demand service," Turntable co-founder Seth Goldstein told Billboard.
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"We have interesting aspects that really require some out-of-the-box thinking. We felt that from the get-go the labels were absolutely different from what I'd been led to believe. They gave us a lot of time and attention. Compared to their user base, we're a tiny service in the broad scheme of things."
Some of the discussion between Turntable and labels reportedly centered around the types of listeners the service attracts. While some listeners are DJing tunes and participating rooms, others are passively listening --music licensing for those two types of listeners is different.
According to comScore, the service reached 207,000 unique web-based users in July 2011, its first full month online. But the service has failed to see the same level of traffic any time since then. Popularity for the service has dropped off a bit since launch, but has been steadily growing over the past few months.
February 2012 marked the sites third-highest traffic month ever, with close to 176,000 visitors. Turntable also launched a mobile app last September, although those user numbers aren't part of the figure reported by comScore.
Turntable was able to secure the licensing deals in around 8 months. By contrast, it took Spotify 3 years of negotiations to get deals in place with record labels for its streaming service.
This story originally published on Mashable here.