Turntable.org, a virtual music lounge not to be confused with Turntable.fm, has raised $500,000 in funding for a comeback.
The service allows users to DJ for virtual rooms, where users vote whether songs are great or not. “The outpouring of encouragement and support from investors of all levels continues to encourage us,” says CEO and founder of the original Turntable, Joseph Perla.
Strangely, there are now two Turntable comebacks: one residing at turntable.fm, which involves the original founder Billy Chasen; and turntable.org, which has slightly different plans. “This all-new Turntable will be as much fun as the original, built for 2021, mobile-first, and designed to last forever,” the founders of turntable.org shared. “We are adding new backers every day and look forward to sharing the beta launch in April.” The news confirms the rumors Digital Music News first spotted on Friday – Turntable is officially coming back.
Joseph Perla has assembled a team of people to launch the new start-up Turntable. Early investors and advisors include:
- Juan Batiz-Benet, founder of Filecoin
- Dan Finlay, founder of MetaMask
- Joshua Goldbard, founder of MobileCoin
- Michael Guimarin of Fastly
- Nicholas Hays of Google
You’ll notice that several early investors and advisors have their start in the cryptocurrency space. Turntable could be positioning itself as a place to market digital NFTs for music. The original Turntable was a music-focused social network for emerging DJs to have fun.
Turntable was designed as a virtual clubhouse with music. NFTs are the perfect digital merch complement to that design. The points payment system rewarded DJs who play popular songs that encourage people to dance. It’s unclear how that system will be tailored to suit 2021 or how it will be monetized.
What’s clear, though, is it has a lower barrier to entry than some current virtual stages like Fortnite and Roblox. Enjoying Turntable in the past only required a browser and a music collection. Both Fortnite and Roblox are available as downloads for PC and mobile. However, Fortnite’s battle with Apple over its revenue share agreement makes Fortnite less accessible than before.
It will be interesting to see if Turntable’s mobile-first implementation can draw attention. Fortnite’s massive concerts draw in millions of players to experience and pay for concert merch. If Turntable can manage the same draw experience with NFTs or other collectibles, it could be an interesting addition to the music industry.
So far, Turntable.org has raised $522,000 to finance its comeback attempt. “When Joe showed me how much early interest there was in rebooting Turntable, I knew immediately that the time had come, and it was time to invest,” says Michael Guimarin of Fastly.