Tunesquare Puts The Social In Indie Music

Did you think there were so many social music networks popping up that there couldn’t possibly be anymore? Think again. Tunesquare has popped up to offer indie music flavor for the social music network scene.

With a hip look similar to that of Trig and MOG (dark background and rounded, edgy graphic edges, among other attributes), Tunesquare offers a way to find new music by category. They advertise that their site is for unsigned bands only, something that so far sets them apart as the emusic of the social music network scene.

The main search ability seems to be by category. They have mostly mainstream categories like Pop, Rock, Rap, Hip Hop, Singer/Songwriter and Heavy Metal. Non-mainstream genres like Punk, Emo and others seem to be lumped under the “Other” category. This is disappointing for a Punk Alt junkie like myself, but I am aware that we are in the minority, so don’t expect top billing.

In addition to the ability to browse by artist or genre, Tunesquare offers a forums section where artists and listeners can talk to each other, an events calendar where artists can list upcoming shows and self produced or independent label album drops, and other promotional events. When you sign up for Tunesquare, you sign up as either a listener or an artist.

Tunesquare offers artists the opportunity to generate money from their listing on Tunesquare. Listening to songs and downloading them is completely free for listeners. Artists make money from unobtrusive ads found on the site in various places. Tunesquare is able to use the ads to offset the cost of supporting new and unsigned music.

I’m not sure if an ad based music network is viable financially in the long run, but I like the general idea. Being exposed to great music I’d otherwise miss is worth a few ads in the mix, in my opinion. My worry is that the ads may become more and more obtrusive as the need to generate more money may arise to offset site costs.

I had more trouble finding fellow users that shared my musical taste than I did finding bands to listen to. The site is definitely geared toward showcasing the music and offering artists a pay model of exposure. Don’t get me wrong, the social aspect is there, it just isn’t as blatant as MySpace Music , Trig, iLike or MOG. The main way you see other user on the site is in the Forums and in the comments under the music itself.

I’d like Tunesquare more if it had a recommendation feature on the Profile page. I’d love to tell people what my favorites were and why without having to write yet another blog (Tunesaquare fives its users a free place to blog). I have enough blogs of my own already without adding another one to the mix. Plus, unlike MOG, Tunesquare’s blog form doesn’t allow for offsite linking or inline song play. This can save bandwidth, I’m sure, but it just isn’t as much fun.

I think I’ll be returning to Tunesquare fairly regularly – exposure to new music is worth a few ads, and I don’t really need another friend-soggy social network to keep up with. Between Tunesquare and emusic I think my unsigned band list on my iPod will stay complete and up to date.

My original version found at Profy site.

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