Self-described “creator community platform” Afterparty has finalized a $5 million funding round and teed up an AI-messaging buildout.
L.A.-headquartered Afterparty just recently detailed its latest multimillion-dollar funding tranche, which has entered the media spotlight about 17 months after execs unveiled a $4 million round (and an expansion into NFT ticketing). Audius backer Blockchange Ventures is said to have led the newer of the raises, with additional support from existing investors such as Anything World stakeholder Acrew Capital and Greenwich, Connecticut-based Tamarack Global.
Palo Alto law firm Wilson Sonsini and Waitroom co-founder Vinny Lingham likewise participated – albeit as first-time investors in Afterparty, which, as highlighted, believes that AI will dramatically enhance its core creator-to-fan offering.
Already equipped with livestreaming, one-on-one chat options, and digital collectibles, the two-year-old business is teeing up 24/7 AI communications as part of an aptly named “Afterparty AI” sub-platform. According to the appropriate website, the latter will enable superfans to send direct messages to AI-powered recreations of artists and others, receiving voice replies and unique photos in just 10 seconds.
These auto-generated replies will draw from “thousands of hours of content” as well as direct collaboration with the involved professionals, the same website shows. Users will have the chance to download the aforesaid requested photos (each billed as “a one-of-a-kind collectible”), and on the cost front, 10 Afterparty AI DMs are expected to set buyers back “less than” one dollar.
“We heard from many of our creators in the Afterparty community that DMs were their fans’ most-valued experience,” Afterparty co-founder and chief talent officer Robert Graham elaborated in part. “However, with thousands of messages coming in at any given time, they have found it impossible to respond in a more personal way both creators and fans crave. With Afterparty AI, we have developed a proprietary system from the ground up to scale creator-fan interactions.”
Afterparty’s wholehearted embrace of AI has arrived as the major labels maintain high hopes for superfan monetization, which Goldman Sachs last month predicted could represent an over $4 billion opportunity.
Though platforms like Hybe’s Weverse have for some time been capitalizing upon the interest of diehard fans, the utilization of artificial intelligence to put out “personalized” messages and drive additional revenue yet is a comparatively new development. Back in July, another fan-monetization platform, Passes, acquired Chainsmokers-backed competitor Fanhouse; according to a related FAQ page, Passes is rolling out “AI clones” for select creators.
Meanwhile, beyond AI replicas of artists and others, Tencent Music in its latest earnings report touted the reach of Xiaoqin, an “AI music companion” that is said to respond to messages and recommend music in real time.