So, basically, on the 15th of January 2009, me and the Advertlets Bloggers, and some friends went down to Mist Club in Bangsar for the launch of Ruumz.com, a new social network…
Above: Beauty queen and tv host Andrea emceed the event.
Besides the basic social networking feature list, they have some interesting things on the monetization and e-commerce angle as well as licensed content from prominent providers. Users can make money from their music playlists (putting together interesting mixes that people are willing to buy), as well as buy songs at RM2 a pop, in addition to being able to order real-life items and send it to friends. Unfortunately the songs are currently DRM protected, and you can only use Internet Explorer to buy/download songs.
However, the Ruumz team hinted that this would change soon, with a more convenient purchase/licensing system when it takes off further. It’ll be interesting to see if this would work out to be the iTunes for Asia (as its way cheaper!), and succeed where Music Canteen failed. Music Canteen was a local online music store that got quite a bit of hype and traction when it started in 2004, but is no longer online. Back then, the site was ready, well-meaning (they promoted indie bands), the business model was sound, but Malaysia wasn’t ready.
On Ruumz.com, you get to also listen to live streaming radio, with licensed content from large music labels – lots of popular songs, the kind that get radio rotation are on there. There’s also an interesting cinema aggregator, MovieRuum (presumably powered by their partner, Cinema Online) – no need to visit individual cinema sites for showtimes and details…you can basically access it by movie. And of course they have mobile content, but its interesting that they use their own online currency called ‘Blings’ rather than charge you via your mobile bill.
I must congratulate them also for providing sufficient quantities of alcohol, and enough variantions on alcohol (red wine, beer, whisky). While I didn’t get smashed, plenty did that night
Meantime, check out what other bloggers who came together that night had to say about the event: