Chew.tv, a video streaming service for DJs to show off their mixing skills, has been acquired by BandLab Technologies, the Singapore-based ‘social’ music-making platform. Terms of the deal are undisclosed, though it was widely known that Chew.tv, which has been described as ‘Twitch for DJs,’ had been struggling financially over the last six months.
Originally a graduate of accelerator Ignite, Chew.tv launched in 2015 as an online community for aspiring and professional DJs, with an emphasis on live video. The premise being that dance music DJs are both content consumers and creators, and that Chew.tv could serve both needs, allowing DJs at different levels to learn from and be inspired by each other — not entirely dissimilar to online gamers.
That appeared to find some traction, seeing Chew garner an undoubtedly loyal and passionate user base. In July, it disclosed that the service had a community of 380,000+ users, who, since launch, have collectively created over 120,000 hours of content.
With that said, Chew.tv narrowly avoided the deadpool earlier this year after its streaming infrastructure was “heavily misused” by a nefarious hacker the previous December. “The abuse cost is more than we can afford, and the combined total of that and our regular running costs is enough to put us out of business,” the company emailed users in March.
However, in a nice turn of events, Chew’s community rallied together under the #savedchew hashtag, and via £12,000 in donations and an increase in premium subscriptions, the service was saved and the startup, which was down to a single staff member in co-founder Will Benton, lived to fight another day. Which brings us to today’s acquisition.
I’m told that BandLab has acquired all technology & IP of the Chew platform. “We’re not disclosing dollar amounts for the deal. This was a privately funded deal – we worked to find a fair price that both parties were happy with,” says a BandLab spokesperson.
Meanwhile, BandLab Technologies says Chew.tv will be rebranded as “Chew by BandLab”. In addition, the startup’s live streaming technology will be integrated into BandLab’s web platform, Android and iOS apps “for use by BandLab’s existing user base of close to 2 million users”.
“I am very pleased that Chew will now be supported by the BandLab team. For the past two years I’ve been closely watching the growth and development of this great platform and community of DJs,” said Meng Ru Kuok, BandLab CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “One of the most important parts of being a musician today is performing live, and as an extension of that, it’s extremely important for us to be able to digitally support creators and musicians who want to bring their live performances to the world”.