The Music Of Their Life

The Music Of Their Life

Mashup targets music lovers interested in displaying a "life soundtrack."

Minneapolis skyway walkers have been intrigued with an airy storefront at LaSalle Plaza called Mashup, promising “Music+Love” on the door. But it’s not a dating service. The space is home to Minneapolis-based Mashup Media, which combines music storage, streaming, and social media components.

The concern was launched in February as beta test site mashup.com and is currently supporting 34,000 users worldwide, who can upload and store unlimited quantities of digital music and arrange it into playlists for streaming to any Internet-equipped device using cloud technology—all for free.

The revenue piece of the business model comes from digital music sales, which began this month. Mashup’s interface remains advertising-free “for now,” says CEO Haythem Khalil.

Mashup users aren’t “renting” music the way they would on sites such as Pandora, where they can’t control the songs being played or how often they hear them. Unlike iTunes, users can access music from any device, including the four major smartphone platforms (iOS, Windows, Android, and Blackberry). Recommendations will come from friends who know them, rather than an iTunes algorithm. Mashup just implemented a “life soundtrack” social media feature in which users can share songs, photos, and videos, creating a timeline of their musical lives, which they can share with other users.

The idea for the business was Khalil’s. What began as a social media concept became more about music discovery after the acquisition of mougg.com in 2011. (Mashup is self-funded by Khalil, COO Ryan Walseth, Senior Brand Manager Brad Wieck, and Technology and Capabilities Lead Samuel Dorr.) The business consists of seven employees and five interns, and has a goal of 2 million users and $1 million in revenue in the next year.

“Mashup is unique because it is targeting users who take pride in music ownership,” says Khalil. “People can tell their life story through their music.”