iHeartMedia Leads $3M Funding Round for Social Audio Startup Gimme Radio
Social audio startup Gimme Radio has raised $3 million in a funding round led by music giant iHeartMedia. Gimme Radio provides a digital radio platform for performances and interactions between artists and fans, including monetized concerts and sales.
Gimme Social Audio
Gimme Radio combines live and curated music shows that bands and their fans can set up as a virtual concert room. The audience can chat to each other during the show and share their digital reactions with others. When not performing, the bands and DJs can talk with their fans and promote their work. That includes directly tipping the performers and buying their merchandise and records. The startup currently offers a channel for country music and a channel for metal music encompassing more than 1,200 artists including stars like Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, and comedian Brian Posehn. Gimme plans to use the new capital to widen its spread of genres and up the number of participants.
“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,” Gimme Radio CEO Tyler Lenane said. “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 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. 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.”
Clubhouse and its rivals in social audio have been quick to catch on to the potential for music and performance on social audio. That’s why the startup launched Music Mode’s improved audio quality and Spatial Audio’s mimicking of live events for the platform. That’s also much of the thinking behind Spotify’s Greenroom social audio platform as it promotes new shows based on playlists. Similarly, Discord’s Stage Channels and its ongoing showcase of celebrities and events and projects is explicitly designed for performances. The same is true for Facebook’s new Live Audio Rooms and the upcoming Amazon social audio platform.
Several music labels have already joined iHeartMedia in contributing to Gimme Radio’s funding, including Metal Blade Records, Riser House Entertainment, and Quartz Hill Records. The funding will also come with promotional opportunities through iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform.
“With our unparalleled reach in communities across America, iHeart’s brands and platforms connect artists and fans like no one else,” iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams said. “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.”