Gimme Radio has announced $3 million in funding in partnership with iHeartMedia, amplifying the social radio innovator’s reach across new communities.
The digital radio platform Gimme Radio enables fans to connect directly with their favorite artists, showing support through tipping, vinyl subscriptions, and merchandise sales. In a round of funding led by audio powerhouse iHeartMedia, Gimme Radio raised $3 million with additional backing from Concord, Metal Blade Records, The Orchard, Riser House Entertainment, and Quartz Hill Records.
Founded by a team of music industry executives with a wealth of experience in digital music services such as Apple Music, Beats, Google Play, and Napster, Gimme Radio has strong roots across many aspects of the industry. The ability to support artists is at the core of the Gimme Radio platform, enabling artists to choose the music while fans chat and listen, inviting members to virtually tip the host and buy merchandise as if they were attending a live show.
“This team helped shape digital music as the world knows it today and Gimme is our vision for the future,” says Gimme Radio’s CEO and co-founder, Tyler Lenane. “Creating rich communities of artists and fans who can have meaningful conversations, build real relationships, and transact directly with one another is how the world will experience music and support artists. In an era of pennies, Gimme is already putting whole dollars into artists’ pockets through incredible, community-based fan experiences.”
Chris Williams, General Manager and Chief Product Officer of iHeartRadio, adds, “With our unparalleled reach in communities across America, iHeart’s brands and platforms connect artists and fans like no one else.” He continues, “We’re pleased to partner with Gimme to further extend that important connection while enabling Gimme to reach our audience and provide companionship to Country and Metal fans with their innovative community- and creator-oriented features.”
More than 1,200 artists have hosted shows across Gimme Radio’s two stations, Gimme Metal and Gimme Country, including Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, comedian Brian Posehn, Chuck Prophet, and Laura Cantrell. These shows have generated an engaged global audience that has spent an average of $10 on tips for over 350 artists.
Recording artist Jesse Dayton, who has a popular show on Gimme Country, says, “Connecting with my fans is what keeps me going and keeps a roof over my head. My show on Gimme Radio has built up a real following, and I can talk with my fans from all over the world, even when I couldn’t tour. Their energy and support have kept me going during a time that has been extremely difficult for all of us.”
Artist compensation has been a prevalent challenge for legacy streaming services, which receive criticism for paying artists a fraction of a cent per play, leading to a system where only the most famous artists can hope to earn a living wage from the services.
“In a world full of spin, we are a revolution,” says Lenane. “Most fans believe that when they play an artist on one of the legacy platforms, a portion of their subscription is going to that artist, but that’s not what’s actually happening.”
“We allow fans to financially support artists online the way they do out in the world: buying a record or going to a show and getting something at the merch table,” he continues.
“Our members have shown a lot of love to their favorite artists as we have rolled out e-commerce, tipping, and vinyl subscriptions, and already, we have DJs who are earning tens of thousands of dollars in tips alone — a number that we expect will grow significantly as we use this financing to scale up our audience and expand Gimme Radio to more genres.”