The Hustle

Social music site Turntable.fm is back from the dead… and has an interesting rival

Turntable.fm shut down in 2014. Now it’s back after raising $7.5m but has to contend with another identical startup also called Turntable.


May 28, 2021

Party time (Found Image Holdings / Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Turntable.fm CEO Billy Chasen announced that the once shuttered startup is coming back — thanks to $7.5m in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

The funding breathes life into the once uber-popular social media platform, and sets the stage for some juicy startup drama (get this: there are now 2 Turntables).

The story starts in 2011

Founded by Chasen and Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm was launched as a social music platform. Users created virtual avatars and bounced around different rooms where DJs would stream music.

In its 1st month the site added 140k+ users and later counted stars like Aston Kutcher and Lady Gaga as financial backers.

Even so, it was shut down abruptly in 2014 as people were cheap asses not ready to pay for streaming audio.

Queue the Pandemic

Another Turntable sprung up in April of this year — Turntable.org, AKA tt.fm. The copycat was founded by Joseph Perla, a member (and hotly debated cofounder) of the original Turntable.fm team.

Turntable.org is functionally identical to the original but is trying something new on the monetization front: subscriptions.

What happens next?

There’s still no detail on what Chasen plans to do with the OG Turntable.fm. Access to the site is password-protected, but witnessing a dead app rise from the grave is rare in Silicon Valley circles.

As for the feud between Perla and Chasen, in Chasen’s own words, “This is now up to the courts to decide…”

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