Life devoid of meaning? New site lets you buy and sell imaginary shares in hot new artists
A new website/social gaming app giving music fans the opportunity to buy and sell imaginary shares in their favourite artists officially launched yesterday (June 14).
TastemakerX lets would-be A&Rs trade stock in any of the 100k+ artists on its database — including Lana Del Rey, above — from an initial purse of 250,000 points or ‘notes’, with players making the shrewdest investments appearing on the site’s leaderboard.
You can follow users who consistently pick out the best up-and-coming music, and track your own investments with share price indexes for each artist you choose to whack money on. The idea being, presumably, to provide music fascists like ourselves with a platform to show off how far ahead of the curve we are, and for less insufferable types to discover new music by more intuitive means than existing platforms like iTunes Genius and Spotify Social.
We’re not entirely clear what will determine whose stock rises and falls just yet (though number of investments has a lot to do with it), and the site is pretty evidently a work-in-progress at this stage. But in the spirit of ‘fun’ — ie it’s Friday and we’re bored — we decided to give it a quick go, snapping up shares in Mount Kimbie (1.07 notes per share), Ty Segall (1.26) and Cat Power (11.54) among others.
Encouragingly, 200 shares bought in Frank Ocean at 3.71 notes a pop have proved a snip so far, with the much-fancied crooner’s price now standing at 4.32 — which would mean an astonishing 864-point windfall should we choose to sell this moment.
Is this stupid? Of course it fucking is, but we can see how this might prove a very addictive waste of time for music geeks — and a very lucrative one for the website’s makers, who have already been backed to the tune of $1.8 million by (very real) investors for their new venture.
Why? Because advertisers will be able to get an evolving picture of listeners’ tastes, and, one presumes, they will pay a fuck-ton of money for that kind of info. As Marc Ruxin, co-founder and CEO of the company, says: “The high-level picture is that we’re attemping to build what I call a Taste Graph[...]
“When you first went to Facebook, they asked you ‘What is your favorite artists, your favourite book, your favourite film,’ but I doubt you have ever updated them. Most people don’t know what you like and most people never look back at what they said on Facebook or Twitter. The current social platforms don’t serve vertical taste at all.”
‘Vertical taste’? Who is this man?
“Our goal is to take anything that is saveable and documentable and create an archive of who you are in a vertical way. It’s a very different paradigm from just pushing things to Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and never seeing them again.”
If that doesn’t sound too sinister to you, you can give the site a whirl here.