Dash Radio Officially Launches With 60 Human-Curated Channels
Dash Radio, a network of online radio stations substituting algorithms for programming by live "curators" -- including celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Odd Future -- launched today with 60 channels and $2 million in seed funding.
Dash has been live online for months already, and says it's gathered 1 million listeners so far. The radio platform is available via desktop browsers and as a download for Android or iOS. The company says other formats, including Sonos, are in the works.
Dash initially launched in beta last summer, after the closing of New York City's venerated East Village Radio. EVR General Manager Peter Ferraro, who according to a 2014 Billboard report worked on the initial launch of platform, is featured among Dash's current list of advisors.
Dash is based out of Hollywood, but a Brooklyn radio studio is currently under construction. A Brooklyn-based Dash station called Brooklyn Radio is also set to launch once the studios are completed. Ferraro is running all New York operations, according to a Dash representative.
In addition to a revamped EVR, the version of Dash that launched today features speciality stations programmed by Snoop Dogg, Odd Future and Isaac Hayes. There's also a Record Store Day-branded station and an Entourage station, which "features all the music from eight seasons of the television show plus new music and exclusives from the film."
Dash Radio is commercial free, and free to listen to.
“Both corporate radio and Internet radio alike have made the mistake of replacing the element of human curation,” said Dash founder DJ Skee in a statement. “Terrestrial radio did so with politics and money, Internet radio with algorithms and playlists. Broadcast radio is meant to be both curated and communal; where real humans dictate the music played for millions of listeners who experience it together, at the same time, in real time. That is the promise that Dash Radio delivers.”
The company's list of investors includes the Slow Ventures investment firm, led by former early Facebook employees; Mike Lazerow, former CEO of Buddy Media, a social media marketing software company that was purchased by Salesforce in 2012 for $689 million; and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
L.A. Reid, who according to the same 2014 Billboard story came aboard as an investor in Dash's beta launch, is absent from the list.
DJ Skee says a cornerstone of Dash's strategy is applying -- and reviving -- the model of traditional terrestrial radio.
"Radio is statistically the most powerful way music is consumed and remains the No. 1 way to discover music," he said. "Although 96 percent of the country still listens to radio, nearly 80 percent are dissatisfied with the experience. Dash Radio aims to rekindle radio’s power by removing the corporate forces that ruined it and placing control back into the hands of those responsible for radio’s early success -- the DJ."