It pains me to give this idea away (if there is such a thing) but no doubt people up and down the tech world are right now brainstorming copy cat or spin-off ideas to ChatRoulette and someone’s bound to have thought of this already and is probably working on it as I write.
I suppose I should first explain what ChatRoulette is – in case you are one of surely only a handful of people who haven’t heard of it in the last week or so. Basically, ChatRoulette is a Stumble Upon for live video chat. You click Play and see live streaming video from some other random user currently on the service. If you like what you see you can stay and chat – otherwise you click Next and up comes another. I think it is brilliantly innovative in its simplicity and randomness. Needless to say some of the ‘content’ on the live feeds are, er, a bit unsavoury shall we say but that only adds to the buzz around the app. And then there is the backstory that it was built by a 17 year old Russian kid just for fun.
Anyway, enough about ChatRoulette – let’s talk about my new idea which was of course inspired by ChatRoulette. The idea is to stream just audio instead of video and have people play music on their computers to their visitors. As a user, you would specify the music genres you like and will be paired people playing similar music. You would of course also have the ability to chat with users when you encounter them – assuming they stick around long enough. You might ask what track it is that is playing for example, or just ask them to marry you – whatever you wish.
The revenue model of this would obviously be around music sales and advertising. Since you would know what music genres each user is interested in, you could target ads on that basis.
The key challenge would of course be distribution as usual. How do you get the word out about this and have it spread – since unlike ChatRoulette, it doesn’t have quite the potential for notoriety to give it the same kind of legs. Still if you were to launch soon, you could piggy-back on the ChatRoulette buzz before it peaks.