Very few startups run out of funding, shut down and then live to see another day. Music discovery platform Earbits beat the odds and shares its story today thanks to a new owner along with some lessons he's learned along the way.
In January of 2014, Earbits, a then four year old music service which had raised $1.7 million to enable artists and labels to "buy" plays, promote and connect with fans., announced that i it was shutting down
Just days later, Earbits was back in business. An unnamed "strategic partner" had "stepped forward and provided the necessary funding to bring Earbits back online indefinitely, announced the startup.
Now 20 months later, Earbits is finally ready to share the identity of its new owner, Atlanta based media company You42. "The acquisition has been completed for some time,"co-founder Joey Flores told Hypebot. "But You42 is currently in stealth, and we wanted to wait until more information was made public before announcing it."
While their roots are in gaming, You42's mission is no less than to "revolutionize the global creative economy through the launch of the world’s first true social entertainment network" and Earbits would seem to fit nicely with that grand vision.
In recent months, Earbits has opened a Santa Monica office and grown from 2 to 13, with plans to double that in the coming months. Its first new iOS and Android apps since 2014 will be released in October.
Lesson Learned: FOCUS
"We learned that we need to be micro-focused on making our mobile apps a competitive listening experience," Flores told Hypebot. "There is no doubt our platform will work for artists and labels. The internal numbers validate that. But we spent so much time proving this platform could work for artists that we were unable to build a streaming service with the features and content our listeners demand."
"We are focusing solely on our mobile apps and acquiring more content right now," he continued." "Thanks to You42, we now have an annual budget that is more than we raised in funding over 5 years. With those kind of resources and a laser focus on just two platforms (iOS and Android), we are going to be the music service everybody is talking about by summer of next year."