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TuneWiki Disappears As Bills Go Unpaid

Turkey-vulture-by-franco-folini-on-flickrA little over a year ago TuneWiki, which dispayed the lyrics to the music you were playing, announced it was shutting down. It then earned a year long reprieve via acquisition by Vert Capital. Now it's said to have gone offline without paying its bills. Apparently Vert Capital just stopped paying, aren't returning reporter contacts and seem to have dumped what was left of Tunewiki in the ditch. Ah, the romance of startup life!

TuneWiki used to be a big deal. You can tell by all the TechCrunch headlines on Crunchbase which is sadly still the best music tech startup reference database we have.

Nevertheless Ingrid Lunden dug in at TechCrunch and did a nice job of recapping TuneWiki's history and of attempting to get an answer out of Vert Capital who probably hoped they'd left that news item behind.

TuneWiki is described in Wikipedia as a "music-centered startup that provides scrolling lyrics through its social music players for cellphones and handheld devices." It was founded in 2007.

According to Lunden, TuneWiki raised $10 million before selling to Vert Capital last year for $115,000. Apparently they weren't making enough money off ads, one of the biggest challenges moving forward for ad-supported streaming music and one which will not only kill more companies but will ultimately further undermine the profitability of music.

After being acquired by Vert Capital most Tune Wiki employees were fired and work began to turn the company into something that could be resold. Now it's just a relatively small bucket of assets whose sale may or may not cover associated legal fees.

Here's what failure looks like:

"It’s a somewhat surprising end for the app, considering it was one of the most popular apps on the Spotify platform — a fact confirmed by Spotify itself, whose spokespeople I contacted asking if the company knew what had happened (they did not)."

"Close to the time of shutdown, TuneWiki had over 10 million active users in 70 countries, playing over 8 million songs each day and having over 1 million social interactions each month (interactions include comments, shares, likes, follows and lyric art)."

Sobering.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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