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A year ago we interviewed MeeMix CEO Gilad Shlang to learn more about his personalized music service. We’ve just learned that MeeMix plans to launch a Facebook application early next week. MeeVideo is a Facebook application that allows users to choose their favorite artist and get their own personalized music video channel.
The videos will be streamed via YouTube and MeeMix notes, the unique MeeMix taste prediction algorithm analyzes song parameters, member profile and behavior traits to determine each user’s personalized playlist as they watch and listen."
What would be great is if the application pulled in music and videos to keep the playlist fresh. This is certainly an application that can seriously increase the time on site metric for Facebook if they can get a strong userbase.
The application will also be available in Hi5, Bebo, Orkut and MySpace. Here’s a sample of what the MeeVideo Facebook application:
Roi reviewed MeeMix earlier this month. MeeMix is a personalized music service based in Israel and they have a very interesting logo. To find out more, I spoke with Gilad Shlang, MeeMix CEO, and the transcript of our discussion is below.
Allen: Can you provide a brief background about yourself?
- I am the MeeMix CEO, Gilad Shlang
- Started playing Saxophone at the age of 7
- Found my own voice (using the sax) at the age of 19 on a vacation from the army in Soweto (South Africa).
- Throughout my professional career music remains a sanctuary of free personal expression.
- Studied Fine Arts at an Art College in Israel
- A Dive master – diving is a form of meditation, a parallel world of sights and sounds.
Allen: What is MeeMix and where did the idea come from?
The idea behind MeeMix is to take WORK out of the equation when it comes to entertainment. We work hard enough to sustain our lifestyle (or the one we aim to). Searching, Locating, Sorting, Playing, Saving and then Forgetting is very common for people that are curious and look for new thrills and experiences when it comes to music or a movie to watch. MeeMix is here to help use our free time better by offering a personalized AI entertainment center.
We could not see the MeeMix service without the communal aspect that surrounds it. MeeMix is all about expressing yourself, your preferences and your lifestyle with your friends or new relations created inside the Mix.
Allen: Where did you get the logo idea from? Ms. Pac Man? :)
The MeeMix logo reflects what we see as both human preferences and human interaction. The round shape of the letters: If you look at a visual depiction of what a member's taste in music looks like (based on our algorithms) you will see an amorphic, almost biological, shape spreading, and stretching. A constantly moving/evolving entity. It is similar to water in space if you can picture that image.
The Mee ghost/Ms. Pacman: Let it be what it will in the eyes of the beholder, guessing is part of the fun.
Allen: How does the service work – how does it create my channel?
When a channel is created by a member we consider 3 worlds; behavior, member profile and songs parameters. In a Mee Station there are no play lists, every song you hear was picked up at that same moment in relation to a world of parameters and considerations preformed by our taste engine. Just like the butterfly effect, the members' actions, demographics, rates, immediate relations and many additional aspects affect the next song you will get. That is the beauty of nature, just like the nature of our preferences.
Allen: Where do you get the music from? Is it radio stations from around the world or is it from my mp3/iTunes collection?
In the future you will be able to create a station based on your personal music collection. At the moment the songs are played by us since every station is unique and reflects its creator's taste.
Allen: What makes MeeMix special?
The service combines two approaches for the first time (Nature and Nurture). This allows more accurate results while making a strong connection in features and facilities between a member's personal preferences and his or her social interactions.
Allen: What's the team like at MeeMix?
Dear music loving people. We believe the best results come from teamwork so the flow of information and feedback in the office is strong and cooperative. There are different sounds coming from every room. MeeMix is a young start up so it's more like a family. We spend over 15 hours a day together in the same apartment and no one's gotten angry yet so I guess you can say that we get along very well with one another.
Allen: Who is your average user so far (age, sex, etc.)?
All ages (74 at the top end and 16 at the bottom) and both sexes. It seems like anyone can find something interesting in the Mix.
Allen: If I am already using Pandora, why should I switch?
You will get a station that is more suited to your tastes and can also be adjusted to your mood (using the pulse or Surprize Mee options). Together with that, in MeeMix we have developed a thriving community so you will have the option of interacting with people like you.
Allen: Do you have a monetization plan? If so, can you share some details? Are you funded?
We are funded by private investors. Our revenue model, at the moment, will rely on advertisements and the sale of physical and digital music through Amazon and the like.
Allen: Can you share some details about your marketing plan?
Tell your friends about us.
Allen: What's coming in the next 3-6 months for MeeMix?
- We will expand our music collection (every song is classified by a musicologist)
- Support and develop the Mee people community that is growing as we write these lines.
- Adding new features. For example: a chat room for every station so the broadcaster (Mee'J) and his/her audience can chat while listening to the station (a public station plays the same song to all its listeners).
- Improve our prediction abilities beyond music.
Allen: What is the Web market like in Israel?
It's new and growing. A few world wide successes by Israeli web companies have created a number of startups by experienced (X) employees. Web minded entrepreneurs, market leaders and investing firms are forming networks and exchanging ideas and abilities.
Allen: What advice do you have for those thinking about starting a web application?
Clear your schedule, first. Then, make the connection between your dream and reality.
Allen: Which RSS feeds are you reading these days?
We read RSS about the music and internet industries. We get about a 1000, we read about 3.
Thanks to Gilad Shlang for the interview.