Pandora reigns among the break-out music technology apps of the era, but now some upstarts think they can outdo the Oakland, Calif-based music service by making streaming radio more of a game. Songza Media CEO Elias Roman pitched his personalized streaming radio service and casual game Tuesday as part of an Innovators Showcase at Billboard Mobile Entertainment Live!'s Music App Summit in San Francisco.

Crafted by the founders of Amie Street – which they sold to Amazon.com – Songza offers free web radio filled with social interaction. “It's the gamification of music,” Roman told the packed room of tech and music industry, as well as a panel of investors from places like Redwood Capital. Songza already has amassed 250 million streams from its prior version 1.0, but they've went back to the drawing board and built in social competition. Tim Chang, principal at Northwest Venture Partners cautioned about fostering the right type of competition, though. “For a social service you got to get the chicks onboard.”

Music file hosting, and twitter link shortening service Bln.kr encountered the most widespread interest from the panel for solving a long-standing problem of how to easily get and share music via Twitter. Bln.kr works with artists like Mike Skinner of The Streets to drive fan feedback via Twitter, but founder and CEO Justin DeLay notes there are 62 million amateur artists in America who could enjoy such feedback as well.

Fellow presenter Songbloom hopes to tap those millions with its cloud-based tools for amateur music recording, mixing, mastering and sales. Startup company Zoove ran into the most questions over its 1-800 number shortening service for mobile phones, but not landlines.



FOR FULL COVERAGE of Billboard's Mobile Entertainment Live Music App Summit in San Francisco #MEL2010 click here.

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