Like so many new music social networks today, it can be quite a cumbersome task building a online profile and establishing relevant networks in the new and growing community you have just found. Most of these new sites linger for a while offering basic and generic social networking functions for their users which rarely differ from their competitors. After the initial start-up buzz has passed, most fizzle out, while others get their break when critical mass is met and viral adoption occurs. There has only been a handful of company's that have attained wide spread adoption to their service and remain in the spotlight as major players in the music social network business. Amongst this group of real time contenders is the company iLike.
iLike has a swift and steady climb into the competitive arena of digital music streaming and online artist promotion, challenging the likes of other established music social networks such as Imeem, last.fm, and Myspace Music. Making strong alliances early on in the game with major record labels, independent record labels, and funding from major concert ticket giant Ticketmaster to the sum of over $13 million, has given iLike the sort of push and platform to stand on that other scrappy start-ups would otherwise not receive. That being said, it was a fast and inevitable rise to the competitive top ranks of the music social networking world. All though iLike has many online promotional tools for musicians and applications for users to experience their music, the site still lacks profile customizing features for bands, artists, and its users, as well as lacking a seamless music player.
A smart power play and large milestone in the company's evolution came with the joining of the iLike application and Facebook. On July 17th, 2007, a iLike/Facebook application was launched allowing facebook users to recommend songs and artist to their friends, find concerts of your favorite artists, and play a music-based game to play among your friends in the social network. This proved to be a match made in heaven for some time as both companies helped each other grow their user bases and bring attention to their services. But as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end", so was the case with iLike and Facebook. After many rumors and speculations had accumulated that the relationship between Facebook and iLike was disintegrating, other rumors started spreading that iLike was up for sale to the highest bidder. After much internet buzz on the topic of a buyout, the facts came through on August 19, 2009. Myspace had officialy bought out iLike for $20 million. Quite the dilemma for Facebook since Myspace was their direct and largest competitor. Although most agree that it was a great buy on the part of Myspace for a mere $20 million and amazing leverage for iLike in both of the giant social networking pools, time will only tell if the buyout will prove profitable for Myspace and a serious a blow to Facebook as others see it. At any rate, iLike has launched themselves into the spotlight once again and continues to be crux of conversation in the digital music world.
Since iLike's inception in January of 2002, the Patrovi brothers, Ali and Hadi, have had their hands quite full. Birthing iLike out of the pioneering music social network website Garageband, raising ilike to the top ranking competitors on the scene, inventing Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and managing the sale of their company has proven to be a roller coaster of ups and downs along with financial strife and great payouts. Although iLike has been sold off to Myspace, it will be interesting to fallow the Patrovi brothers and see what next ventures may come along. I imagine they have no intention of slowing down any time soon.
- Music source: Major Record Label Catalogs, Independent Record Label Catalogs, Independent Musicians
- Platform: basic HTML based web service
- Target Audience: Mainstream followers, Facebook Users, Myspace users, Independent musicians
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