Streaming services like Spotify and Deezer are great when you know what you want to listen to, but despite offering charts and other discovery features, they’re not so good when it comes to surfacing new artists.
For the past week, I’ve been testing out Tradiio, a new platform that turns finding new musicians into a game and rewards you for making smart picks.
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The service, which launched publicly today, uses a system of virtual coins. You start with a cache of currency to invest in songs. You earn more as you complete missions – short tasks like ‘listen to two hip-hop songs’ – and challenges – such as ‘invest in 10 songs’.
Inevitably, there’s a social aspect. You can follow other users to get their picks and are frequently encouraged to share your choices on other social networks.
Crucially, you can only invest in 10 songs at any one time so there’s an incentive to make smart picks and refresh your portfolio as tracks move up and down Tradiio’s charts. You can ‘sell’ songs to get more coins when they start to do well or just to free up space for a hotter track.
The trading aspect of the service is a slightly odd experience right now, as there’s only a limited number of users signed up as part of its beta testing, but it should get interesting as more people join in.
Besides the inherent challenge of trying to level up in the music recommendation game, you can also redeem your stash of virtual coins for real-world rewards, such as gig and festival tickets, music vouchers and hardware.
Artists who attract the most backing on the platform can also get benefits including festival slots, record label connections and access to studio time.
The company’s partners include London music festival Field Day, streaming system maker Sonos, online music store Bleep and headphone brand AIAIAI. Products from all of them are available in the Market, where users can also spend the coins they accrue. The store also includes Add-Ons, which are effectively power-ups to allow you to more rapidly earn coins.
Along with its slick Web interface, the platform has apps for Android and iOS. I’ve tried the latter and it’s an equally smooth experience that makes it easy to find new songs and manage your investments.
Tradiio does need to make it easier to see other users’ profiles and see whose portfolios are doing the best. A way of skipping and pausing tracks without having to jump into the browser tab would also be very handy.
The service is a fairly involved experience. You’re not going to love it if you just want to listen to songs. But, if you buy into the game and can take the highly-variable quality of the new music on offer, it’s fun and a welcome change from the predictable selection of songs you’ll come across on most streaming services.
So far, my investments aren’t paying off but I’m intrigued enough by Tradiio to keep trading tracks and attempting to turn myself into a more successful virtual A&R man.
Image credits: Tradiio