Dash Radio wants to get back to radio’s roots with new DJ-curated music service


Dash Radio, a highly curated streaming music service that doesn’t use algorithms or playlists, went live today.

Dash has built a technology platform containing some 60 curated “stations” for listeners to choose from, all delivered through an app. It already has more than a million users from its beta period.

Dash’s streams are “one to many” broadcasts, just like the terrestrial radio of old. The content is chosen by a DJ, who the listeners trust to deliver good music. There’s no skipping to the next song as in Spotify; listeners listen to what the DJ plays.

“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,” said Dash CEO and founder DJ Skee. Skee (aka Scott Keeney) is a well-known DJ and radio host in Los Angeles.

One of Dash’s DJs is Snoop Dog, who Skee said plays anything he wants. Sometimes it’s gospel. Sometimes it’s old soul.

Snoop can break into the stream anytime with live content — a set of music he wants to spin, or even his live DJ set from a club. When he isn’t doing live programming, Dash’s technology backend can play content from earlier broadcasts or just play music Snoop has selected in the past.

What you aren’t likely to hear is Snoop’s latest hit song, explains Skee.

Skee says the idea behind Dash is injecting old-school radio formats and practices into web-based and app-based music streaming. “We’re trying to save radio,” Skee says. “We’re trying to make radio cool again.”

“Both corporate radio and Internet radio alike have made the mistake of replacing the element of human curation,” the DJ said. “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,” Skee said.

Skee wants the experience to be ad-free, too, at least for now.

“We’re funded enough to where we can just push through and create the best user experience,” Skee said.

The startup has taken $2 million in seed funding so far, and is planning on raising a series A round in the near future.

Skee says Dash may one day have its DJs do quick mentions of sponsors between songs. It might also experiment with selling tickets to artist shows within the apps.

You can find Dash Radio via the Web at www.dashradio.com, within its iOS and Android apps, or on Apple CarPlay. Soon, Dash Radio will also become available via the Sonos in-home wireless audio speaker system and in cars using the AT&T Drive initiative.

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