New music discovery startup launches with thousands of independent musicians, songs
hypetree.com, indie music promotion and discovery service, opens to the public after months of invite-only beta.
NEW YORK, June 12, 2012 -- On Monday, hypetree opened its doors to the general public, following several months of a closed beta. The site invites people to discover, rate, and save songs uploaded directly by musicians and independent labels.
The website went viral on StumbleUpon in October, garnering over 6,000 signups in the first week. Since then, it has undergone a ground-up redesign, adding many features and attracting thousands of users.
"When we announced our concept, we had no idea it would catch on so quickly," said Alex Jae Mitchell, hypetree's CEO and Founder, "But we seized the opportunity to really improve our product. Over the past few months, we've created an incredible new experience for both musicians and listeners."
The hypetree "battle player" presents a user with two songs, and after listening to both, the user picks which one they like better. The pick affects each song's "interest score," which determines its global ranking among all other songs on the site. If the user is signed in, hypetree also learns the user's musical tastes with a patent-pending algorithm, to personalize their listening experience. Users can also "favorite" songs to a central list, and create playlists.
For causal listening, the site also has a new radio feature, which streams songs without prompting the user to pick one of two.
Its position is unique in the online radio sphere, as the site does not play major-label music like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, and instead relies on independent musicians and labels to upload their music for inclusion in the system. Musicians can upload up to three free songs, and then pay around $0.99 per song per month to upload more. Whether or not they pay, musicians receive a page of graphed data about their songs' performance and reach on the site, as well as a profile linking to their web presence.
According to Trevor Collins, Head of Artist Relations at hypetree, "It fills an important gap in the music industry right now. There's great music being made by so many independent musicians, but no real way to find them unless they make it big, and they won't make it big unless you can find them. So we made a community where finding independent music is not only possible, but also very fun."
The website plans on announcing several major new features in the coming months.