Announcing FUZZ: Calling All Blippers in the US to Test New Product

Jeff here from Blip.fm.  As some of you may remember, we started our music efforts with an artist marketing product called Fuzz Artists back in 2006.  Despite our efforts, it never really went anywhere and we were lucky when our engineers came up with an idea for a “Twitter-like” product for music.  As you know, this eventually became Blip.fm and we made the painful decision to shut down our first product when Blip started to take off.  With your help, Blip.fm grew and things were going great… at least for a little while.

Things took a downward turn when we encountered some “content challenges.”  We lacked the resources to close content deals, and the decent content sources we had all dried up. In order to stay in existence, we changed many aspects of the service (needless to say, for the worse).  We lost some of our favorite Blip DJs, users were extremely upset, and the community forever changed. To be honest, it totally sucked.  My staff shrank to just me, my co-founder and part-time engineering help.  We kept Blip going on a shoestring by running it out of my basement.

While it was yet another difficult time for us, we regrouped, put together a new team, and started thinking about a new product.  In the meantime to my surprise, many Blipppers stuck with us and continue to do so today.  You know who you are and, on a personal level, I can’t thank you enough.  I would’ve called it quits a long time ago, if it weren’t for your support.

The elephant in the room is the question many of you want answered: what is going to happen to Blip.fm?  The honest answer is I don’t know for sure.  For many reasons, some personal and business, I want and will try to keep Blip going as long as possible, and to fix things when they break.  I hope that I’ll be able to do more than that some day, but the reality of limited resources means that day may not come for a long time, or at all.

That brings me to the new FUZZ.  Think ‘People-Powered Radio’.  While it’s not Blip.fm – nothing could replace it – we have built some of what we think are the best aspects of Blip into an internet radio service.  Most importantly, we continue to believe that the most compelling recommendation is when it comes from REAL PEOPLE and that thinking forms the core of FUZZ.

Since most of you have strong opinions about music, we think you would be perfect to help us test, provide feedback, and build stations as early adopters.  If you are interested, sign up at http://fuzz.com/register to be next in line for new batches of invites.  Over the next few weeks, we will open it up to more and more Blippers.  For a temporary period of time, we will reserve your Blip user names so make sure you use (and check) the email address tied to your Blip.fm account.

One major downer is that, for now at least, FUZZ will be available only in the United States due to licensing restrictions.  To all the international blippers out there, we understand the anger and disappointment this will cause.  As we move forward, we will look for the opportunity and resources to add other countries to FUZZ’s reach.  This is a bummer for our international users, and for us U.S. blippers who have benefited from all of their efforts. For more about this topic and internet radio regulations, you might want to check out http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/articles/internet-radio/

FUZZ is in a private beta stage and still figuring things out so we appreciate your patience and feedback. You’ll be helping us to make a better online music experience. Sign up for an invite, and stay tuned!

Hope to see you on FUZZ.com soon!

@Jeff