Got Playlists? Fresh Startup Strikes Yahoo, MySpace Relationships

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Playlisting is a natural part of any music listening experience, and the impetus for numerous startups and concepts.

Live365 started transforming playlists into personal radio stations in the 90s, and the iPod wouldn’t be the same without them.  Even phones can grab web-hosted playlists over-the-air, thanks to early-movers like Xdrive (now owned by AOL).

Now, a fresh face is gaining traction.  The startup, Playlist.com, involves former MySpace vice president Shawn Gold, now head of networking consultancy SocialApproach.  Jeremy Riney is the founder and chief executive of the company.

Initially called Project Playlist, the beta startup is now putting some serious deals together, including tie-ups involving MySpace and Yahoo.  On Tuesday, Gold shared exclusive details on both the roadmap and partnerships with Digital Music News. “We’re scaling this in a big way,” Gold promised, hinting at potentially serious investments ahead.

Gold views playlists as a great mechanism for artists and labels to monetize their content.  “Playlists are one of the best angles you have at actually driving commerce,” the networking executive explained from his home in Los Angeles.  “If there is a practical application to your life, you are more likely to buy it.”

In line with that thinking, the Playlist.com destination is peppered with iTunes buy links.  But the playlists themselves pull streaming content from all across the internet.  For example, one track within a playlist could be sourced from a music blog, another from a MySpace band profile page, and another from an artist website.  “Nothing is being hosted by us,” Gold said, though he did point to ongoing label negotiations.

Once a playlist is created, the distributed fun begins.  Playlists themselves are quickly turned into widgets, and can be embedded into networks like MySpace, Facebook, hi5, and Bebo.

But Gold is tying the concept more heavily into his old professional hangout, MySpace.  The networking heavyweight is actively building an integrated application component, and Playlist currently tops the list at apps.myspace.com, a beta testing ground.

Then, the plot thickens a bit.  The MySpace application is actually a video-focused playlisting concept powered by Yahoo Music.  The application is still being dusted off, and Gold pointed to an alpha development stage.  Early adopters will undoubtedly agree, though the idea could spearhead MySpace’s application-focused initiative.

Story by publisher Paul Resnikoff in Los Angeles.