Singshot is a San Francisco start-up that lets you do karaoke online. It is also the latest company to join the fad of holding American Idol-like talent competitions for its users.

Back when we first wrote about this company, it still hadn’t launched, but we thought the idea was a “long-shot.” The company launches in testing mode today, and after playing with the product last week, we’ve changed our mind.


The question remains, whether it will make money. But at least Singshot is biting the bullet, and charging a $9.95 per month subscription (after two-week trial), and cheaper options if you subscribe for longer periods. It is clean and fun enough, in our view, for plenty of people to begin using it. And unlike the landscape for video and photo sites, there’s not much competition for music-only karaoke sites. There’s one major player, kSolo. Because it is newer, SingShot is letting you embed the songs you create into other sites, giving it a hip edge. You also don’t have to download anything.

Singshot lets you select a song, and then it writes the lyrics on the screen, so that you can sing along. You can also listen to the song’s original lyrics, so that you can practice.

When your voice is merged with the music, the song is saved, and users can rate them and comment on them. You can save it as either a private or a public song. Congrats to DekeSharon for leading the charts so far with Drift Away, among others.

Singhot has more features than competitor Ksolo. As mentioned, Singshot lets you embed your songs, via Singshot’s media player, into your profiles on Myspace and other sites. It also lets you tag songs. Finally, kSolo was bought by Fox, and so Singshot is open to strike partnerships with media companies that may not want to partner with Fox, according to Singshot chief executive Ranah Edelin.

The founders include Edelin, Niranjan Nagar, and Sean Ryan, who were early employees at, which built the Rhapsody music service and was bought by Real Networks, Inc. in 2003 for $36 million.

Edelin told us they will first focus on building a community of users before going after sponsored competitions — where companies offer prizes for contests to build their brand. Singshot have licensed 2,500 songs for their online Karaoke bar.

Singshot has raised $1 million in February from Transcosmos Investments, the VC arm of the Japanese IT outsourcing firm.

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