iLike, the “social music discovery service” is a MySpace type of site, but built along one common interest – music. The thinking is that by establishing a network for friends or like minded individuals, users can discover and share music within a community setting (in fact, iLike now has a widget for sharing music recommendations on MySpace and other social websites).
ILike, which is expected to reach up to half a million registered users this month, scored a major coup late 2006, when Ticketmaster agreed to buy 25% of the shares of the company for a humongous $13.3M, putting the valuation at $53M. And this was for a 2 month old company that launched back in October of 2006!
Preference based networks have operated in two modes. Companies such as Netflix have spent a lot of money and resources on fine tuning algorithms that predict customers future movie watching preferences by using data from past selections. (Earlier we discussed the rising trend of companies that have declared large prizes to entice people to help them solve a complicated problem. Netflix did this most famously when it declared a million dollar prize for a 10% improvement in the accuracy of their algorithm for predicting customer tastes).
Community based models such as iLike, have integrated user preferences into the social networks of their members, enabling users to share music recommendations.
San Francisco based ILike, an offshoot of GarageBand, was funded in mid 2006 to the tune of $2.5M, by Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures and Bob Pitman, co founder of MTV.