October 25, 2018

DJ Skee is fed up with FM and hates soulless streaming, so he raised $8.8m for ‘new’ radio

DJ Skee’s radio startup Dash raised $8.8m to expand its reimagined version of radio.

Dash Radio, a startup founded by Scott Keeney (AKA DJ Skee) in 2015, raised $8.8m to revive analog radio. Three years and 10m listeners later, D-Skee is putting his money where his broadcast is.

Is there still room on the airwaves for regular old analog radio?

DJ Skee’s investors think so: The CEO of Warner Bros, Alibaba’s former chairman of US investments, and several prominent VCs bankrolled the company’s $8.8m seed round.

The radio industry is worth $45B a year, but companies attempting to update “old” radio (e.g. iHeartRadio) are swimming upstream against Spotify. So instead of renovating the old radio, Dash Radio wants to rebuild radio from the ground up. 

Skee believes streaming services and radio are different products with separate markets — music streaming is for customized, popular hits, while radio is for a “more curated, personality-driven, ‘lean back’ experience.”

‘Leaning back’ into radio’s roots

According to Dash’s site, it is “fed up with the limitations of regular FM radio,” but it also “hate[s] internet playlists that pose as radio powered by soulless computers.” 

So, Dash Radio focuses on surfacing new artists and DJs — featuring original commentary from popular personalities including 400 shows across 75 stations with hosts like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Lil’ Wayne, and, of course, DJ Skee himself.

Dash (which is currently free) keeps the lights on through partnerships with 40+ distribution outlets ranging from connected vehicles to smart TVs — now, it’ll use its extra cash to go out and find the next Post Malone.

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