Deal Flow first told you about San Francisco-based SingShot Media Inc. back in May when the startup was only four months old and still developing its online karaoke service. Starting today, you can check out SingShot for yourself here. Founded by three dudes who brought us the Rhapsody online music service, SingShot is kind of an (please excuse the Hollywood-style description) audio YouTube meets American Idol. Paid subscribers (or free trial customers) can record themselves singing their favorite tunes. SingShot provides background music and lyrics just like a karaoke machine. Would-be Taylor Hickses and Kelly Clarksons can store their recordings on SingShot for all the world (or just invited guests) to hear. Listeners can rate the recordings, and SingShot reports the rankings.
Speaking of American Idol and the Fox TV network, you may have noticed that Fox Interactive Media, the network's online division, recently snapped up a year-old startup called kSolo Inc., which provides--you guessed it--online karaoke. SingShot aims to distinguish itself from kSolo with lower prices and technical advantages such as no client software to download. SingShot co-founder and CEO Ranah Edelin declined to discuss whether his company has been approached by any would-be acquirers.
Though it's starting with a straightforward karaoke service, SingShot has long-term ambitions to flesh out its product. Edelin foresees adding video uploads and advertiser-sponsored talent contests, for example. Revenues will come chiefly from subscriptions, which customers must pay to make recordings. Anyone can listen to the recordings for free on the ad-supported site.