Social music network Iggli nearing private beta

igglilogo.pngBefore taking off for some world traveling earlier this month (hence the light posting frequency), I had a quick chat with Tom Higley of the stealthy Boulder startup called Iggli has been busily building their “social music network” for about a year, and now has ten employees. Originally the company started as Vault Alliance, but changed both the name and the focus fairly early on.

Tom is the only founder of the company, which has been backed thus far by a handful of well known angel investors. Tom previously founded companies such as StillSecure, Service Metrics, NETDelivery and FortNet.

So what is a “social music network”, exactly? Only time will tell – Iggli plans to open to the public in mid-2008, with a limited private beta starting around February. The main thing I wanted to get out of Tom was how Iggli would be differentiated from the masses of other music oriented social networks.

Tom explained that Iggli will go far beyond simply mashing up a social network with content. He insists that it’s a social music network, rather than a music social network. The implication is that iggli will be first and foremost about the music, with social features to support and extend the experience of the music. I also learned that Iggli has forged some strong relationships in the music industry. For example, Iggli plans to include the ability for members to listen to full tracks and to form community around music and artists in ways which the artists themselves will appreciate and support.

Of course, attracting users is always the hard part. While iggli does intend to be a destination site, it will also be distributed through other services such as Facebook and mobile services which can in theory help build a substantial early base of users.

Tom says Iggli will be free to end users and will initially target 18-24 year olds directly. However, a site like this will of course bleed over to music lovers of all ages if successful. That’s a good thing, since Tom has graciously invited me to play with the private beta in a few months time and I’m “just over” that high water mark.

If you’d like the chance to play with the private beta too, you can request it here. Meanwhile, check out the Iggli blog squad which consists of about 20 bloggers in Colorado, LA, and San Francisco talking about all things music and social, many of which are quite interesting.

I’ll post my thoughts on the early beta of Iggli in a few months.

file under: Blog, Startups