NEW BUSINESS: THREE MUSIC STARTUPS WORTH WATCHING

For the second year running, Rethink Music's "Genesis Project" put out a call for new business models for the music industry. This year's competition was juried by Babson College; the winner will be announced at the conference, and details about the finalists are being kept under wraps. But here's what we know about this year's top three.

1_PROMOTER
WHAT THEY SAY IT DOES "A bridge between artists and their hardest-working fans," it's "an online music service with multiple functions: a platform for music fans to recommend music, a store where fans can search for and download their favorite music, and a way for artists to connect with their fans."
WHAT WE THINK IT IS From their slick YouTube trailer, this looks like a social-networking competitor to FanBridge and Topspin Media: fans get rewards in exchange for engaging in online-street-teamy activities like uploading videos and sharing songs.
OUR HALF-ASSED GUESS AT THEIR ODDS OF SUCCEEDING 5-1

2_HAVE YOU HEARD?
WHAT THEY SAY IT DOES "Leverages the listening data available on music-streaming platforms to benefit both fans and artists."
WHAT WE THINK IT DOES Baseball has sabermetrics; the music industry has services like the Echo Nest that can predict — or at least suggest — who your next favorite band will be, or tell bands which reviewers are most likely to be receptive to their music. Mining social networks for musical predictions is cool right up until it's creepy; we're hoping these guys can stay on the right side of the line.
OUR HALF-ASSED GUESS AT THEIR ODDS OF SUCCEEDING 32-1

3_THAT WAS MY JAM
WHAT THEY SAY IT DOES "A new Web service helping music enthusiasts create a personalized music timeline."
WHAT WE THINK IT IS No idea, but sure sounds an awful lot like thisismyjam.com, an ultra-simple site that lets you share your musical pleasure of the moment with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
OUR HALF-ASSED GUESS AT THEIR ODDS OF SUCCEEDING 156-1

Carly Carioli can be reached at  ccarioli@phx.com.

The Rethink Music conference, a collaboration between the Berklee College of Music and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, takes place April 22-24 at Hynes Convention Center. For a full list of panels, concerts, and special events, visit  rethink-music.com.

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