Music Business

Turntable.fm To Shut Down: $7M and Celebrity Investors No Match For Music Licensors

image from msp.starshipmoonhawk.com(UPDATE) After two years and $7 million, Turntable.fm is shutting down on December 2nd. The team will concentrate on its newer Turntable Live interactive online concert platform. Once again, the cost of licensing music has forced a promising platform to throw in the towel. "… The cost of running a music service has been too expensive and we can’t outpace it with our efforts to monetize it and cut costs," the company said in a statement.

What Happens To Your Turntable.fm Playlists

image from www.turntable.comThe Turntable.fm team "want to at least go out in style":

  • All playlists and songs can be exported to Spotify or CSV by going here.
  • All the avatars they’ve designed are now accessible for everyone.
  • They have created a special t-shirt to remember turntable.fm and it will be available for purchase next week.
  • Theys are working on making anonymous raw data dumps for developers to have fun with.

The company is planning a "last day party" online at turntable.fm on December 2.

From Founding To Failure

But the turntable.fm story began at launch in May 2011 Turntable.fm as a project of Seth Goldstein and Billy Chasen, the co-founders of Stickybits.

In less than a year turntable.fm was an underground hit on its way to the mainstream. Closet DJ's were spinning online next to celebrities hoping to extend their reach. $7 million in investments rolled in from a who's who list that included Union Square Ventures, Troy Carter, Jimmy Fallon, Tim Kendall, Courtney Holt, Guy Oseary, Lowercase Capital, Polaris Partners, First Round Capital and Vivi Nevo.

While presumably some of the $7 million invested remains and will be used to develop Turntable Live. But for turntable.fm, the cost demanded by a handful of powerful major labels and publishers to licenses music proved too high.

It's a tale we've heard before, but one that we're likely to hear less often as investors tire of of the losses.

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3 Comments

  1. 8 out of every 10 users I met on that site were just terrible. No one cared about the devs or the community would have at least tried to save it. But that didn’t stop each user to complain their entitled little hearts out. Go into any room on tt and you will find an extensive list of unacceptable artist to play that probably includes every artist you can think of. And if you’re a dj or artist you’ll get kicked and banned from a room befor your song plays 10 seconds. Either robot earred techno dub step or a certain set of 20 specific rap songs is all that is allowed or you get banned from a room. I don’t blame the founders for wanting to move on. That community was awful.

  2. Wow, I discovered literally dozens of new artists only after hearing them on Turntable.fm. big loss for everyone involved…

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