To celebrate the release of their API, Spotify sponsored a Hack-a-thon at SPiN Ping Pong Club in New York City from Friday February 24 until Sunday February 26. Spotify was joined by big brands like Doritos, CW, McDonald’s, Showtime, State Farm and Mountain Dew. Technology companies sponsoring the event included Facebook, Twilio, FourSquare, The Echo Nest and of course, GoGrid. GoGrid provided all the cloud servers for the event to support the developers as they created brand new apps using the Spotify API in conjunction with other API like Facebook’s Open Graph. GoGrid’s manager of cloud ecosystem, Paul Lancaster and I were on-hand to meet with developers and provide support for the event.
50 CentOS x64 cloud servers were provisioned to the hackers by GoGrid to build their applications free of charge with root level access for maximum flexibility. Hundreds of hackers showed up to build the next great apps and were treated to live performances by Blood Orange and MNDR. While hack-a-thons tend to have attrition over time, hackers stayed throughout the night and most for the entire weekend.
There were roughly 30 projects worked on during the weekend which ranged from an app called Museik (UI shown above) that extracts content from the internet related to the release date of a song on Spotify to a project called Orbidal by the students of the VCU Brandcenter that gathers the collective feelings of your Facebook feed and creates a playlist based on that mood on Spotify.
GoGrid awarded a prize to JukeSpot, an app that combined the APIs of Spotify, Facebook, and Foursquare to allow users to play their songs and playlists at any bar/club/restaurant that has the JukeSpot app running on their system. It also allows users to compete against each other for points, share points socially, and buy points from marketers or retailers.
One app called Music Monster integrated Spotify with Foursquare and The Echo Nest. This app is designed to be used by a DJ to check-in to a location, set up a playlist and start tracking audience responses in real-time. The data comes from a client app that users at the venue use to check-in and then provide real-time feedback to the DJ (indicating that they want to hear more familiar tracks or something more mellow). This particular app won for best Echo Nest hack.
Another app called Swarm.fm built by Peter Watts inverts the paradigm of integrating Spotify activity into Facebook. Rather, Facebook (and other sources) activity is integrated into Spotify, so that you can see your friend’s likes of particular bands and the activity of artists that you like all tied to your music collection. It can also find similarities between friends and can generate playlists based on artists, interests and brands you have in common. This clever app won the Spotify Grand prize and $10,000.
The Grand Prize was judged on the following criteria:
- Overall Product Viability
- Level of innovation
- Depth of integration with Spotify API(s)
- User Experience
- Integration of Music
Overall, this was a well-organized, fun and productive event. Lot of great, innovative apps were built in a short period of time. Spotify and OMD provided a great atmosphere with plenty food (seemingly unlimited supply of Doritos and Mountain Dew), live music and support from technology partners and brand executives.