Better known as Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter’s name was all over TechCrunch Disrupt this morning, as two projects he is involved in took center stage.
First up was Turntable.fm, the much buzzed about online DJ site, who hit the stage with two big announcements. Founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein confirmed that they had raised a $7 million round, led by Union Square Ventures; USV head Fred Wilson will also join their board. Other investors in the site include Questlove, Jimmy Fallon, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary, MySpace’s Courtney Holt, and Troy Carter. Goldstein and Chasen also announced the release of an iPhone app, and said that unlike the web based version of Turntable.fm, which requires users to be Facebook friends with a turntable user to access the site, the app would be open to all comers.
T echCrunch Disrupt Day One: Arrington’s Anouncement, Pandora’s Fireside Chat
Chasen says the launch of Turntable.fm was spurred by “the need to bring the social value back to digital music.” After coming to the conclusion that his previous company, Stickybits, was not going to work out, he went back to an older idea and built out Turntable. “No one knew if this would stick or not,” said Goldstein, and it’s a question that remains open. While there are 60 million “potential” users (people connected to current Turntable users on Facebook), the site peaked at 600,000 unique visitors, with about 40% of those qualifying as active users. Chasen said the site streams over a million tracks per day.
In terms of their relationship with the rights holders, Goldstein says they are having “productive conversations” and want to regain their international presence, which was curtailed earlier this summer. He says that artists still love the service, and that country act Lady Antebellum streamed its new album on Turntable yesterday.
In other Troy Carter news, investor Shervin Pishevar announced he is partnering with Square’s Keith Rabois and Carter to launch Menlo Ventures. The fund has already invested in Backplane, which powers artist websites, as well as Cake Health and Parse.