Music tech startup Turntable LIVE has secured over $7 million in a seed round of funding, which it plans to use to power its new social music platform.
The company is targeting a full public launch later this year and says it is currently working with music industry partners to be “fully legal and licensed” for the upcoming launch.
The seed round was led by Founders Fund and ex-Facebook exec led f7 Ventures, along with angel investors such as WordOut CEO Michael Guimarin; Julia Tang, formerly of Discord and Instagram; TuneCore and Acme Innovation co-founder George Howard; and Jonathan Hull, former Head of Music Partnerships at Facebook.
In a press release announcing the funding round, and as reported by TechCrunch, the company says that, “this funding will allow the platform’s originator to realize his original vision for the viral concept”.
Adds the statement: “Created by Joseph Perla, Turntable LIVE has become what Perla laid out more than a decade ago. If the name sounds familiar, you may be remembering an old, legacy Turntable, which crumbled under co-founder disagreements and did not launch with global music licenses or a mobile app. TurntableLIVE.com is an all-new company that is doing things right.”
“If the name sounds familiar, you may be remembering an old, legacy Turntable, which crumbled under co-founder disagreements and did not launch with global music licenses or a mobile app. TurntableLIVE.com is an all-new company that is doing things right.”
Simon Oxley, who designed the original logos of GitHub and Twitter, also designed some of Turntable LIVE’s avatars.
Turntable LIVE says its new iteration will have new features during its launch including voice chat, global licensing, and mobile apps on iOS and Android, allowing music lovers, artists, entertainers, and influencers play music and hang out together in a virtual platform.
“Music is inherently social and has been a conduit for connection long before the social media platforms of our generation. With that, we could not be more excited for Joseph to bring together music discovery and community with Turntable LIVE,” Kelly Graziadei, founder and general partner of f7, says.
“With millions having nostalgia for the social listening ideas of Turntable in 2011, the all-new Turntable LIVE is poised for growth and a platform to delight music lovers and friends around the world.”
Discord’s former Vice President, Tang, will become an advisor at Turntable LIVE in addition to being an investor.
“I love consumer products and platforms that are fun and immersive, and deepen our relationships within our community,” Tang says.
“I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Turntable LIVE’s journey because I believe that discovering and listening to music together can be joyful, inspiring and pure fun now more than ever.”
Ex-Facebook executive Hull will also act as an advisor at Turntable LIVE.
“There is something special and unforgettable about discovering your new favorite song. When that recommendation comes from a person—that bond fosters deeper connections among fans, colleagues, and friends—uniting people via music,” says Hull.
“Turntable LIVE has cracked the code of what makes online music social: It needs to be shared, there needs to be a slight edge of friendly competition, and it needs to feel spontaneous, high energy, engaging—in a word, fun.”
Joseph Perla, Turntable live
Turntable LIVE founder Joseph Perla will serve as the company’s CEO. He says Turntable LIVE was created “with a positive-sum approach in mind.”
“People need joyful, meaningful social experiences online: music can facilitate that. And music needs more and more compelling ways to reach people and bring them together. Turntable LIVE accomplishes both, as one of the first truly participatory places online for music enjoyment and real-time social interaction.”
The platform will feature games and users can select and customize their avatars and stages where they can perform.
It comes as the popularity of virtual concerts continue to grow in recent years. Roblox has been hosting virtual concerts for the likes of Elton John, K-Pop stars NCT 127, and 24KGold and DJ parties like the one with David Guetta in February 2022.
In August, BLACKPINK’s virtual concert on PUBG Mobile was watched by 15.7 million viewers.
The appeal of virtual concerts has also prompted investors to infuse millions of dollars in investment into platforms that allow artists to create their own avatars.
In 2020 for example, music industry mega-manager Scooter Braun joined a $30 million investment in virtual concert startup Wave.
With Turntable LIVE, users can set up their avatars and genre- and scene-themed rooms or jump into the virtual DJ booth to start spinning tracks. The platform provides interactive listening and game elements and users can unlock rare avatars and other upgrades.
“We imagine everyone from a producer talking about his influences to a chef laying out her inspirations could use Turntable LIVE to create a more immersive, fun conversation, beyond what you can do with just a voice conversation or real-time text back-and-forth,” Perla says.
“Turntable LIVE has cracked the code of what makes online music social: It needs to be shared, there needs to be a slight edge of friendly competition, and it needs to feel spontaneous, high energy, engaging—in a word, fun,” Turntable LIVE advisor and music innovation legend George Howard added.
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