Social.FM, Formerly Mercora, Shuts Down

35 Comments

Mercora, an early entrant into the social music and music search space that recently rebranded itself as Social.FM, has shut down and suspended operations. After being tipped off by a source, I tried reaching the company’s executives, but haven’t heard from them. The site has gone black.

“The Company is unfortunately no longer in business and therefore cannot continue its service to you. Regards,. Mercora, Inc.” Over on the Social.FM home page, the company said “To our Valued Customers,. We regret to inform you and apologize for this inconvenience, but Social.FM will be shutting down the system on July 31st, 2008.” The MySpace widgets have also gone on the blink.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company launched in June 2005 and had raised $5 million from Norwest Venture Partners. It was started by Srivats Sampath, the former CEO of McAfee.com, and launched with a pretty nifty P2P radio software client.

Social.FM had planned to make money by selling ads next to music searches that were conducted on its P2P network. It eventually lost out to more visible competitors, like Pandora and Last.fm, and changed its strategy. Like many other music-focused startups, the company had faced some tough times when the royalty rates for webcasting music on the Internet were raised.

35 Comments

BlackSun59

This sucks. Social.FM shuts down and there’s only LastFM or Pandora? Those two aren’t even close; they don’t enable users to put up their music libraries for streaming. Been trying to find a REAL replacement for Social.FM for over a year now.

Christine

A shame, because I think it was an excellent idea.

I do think there were real problems though. The few times I tried it, I couldn’t get it to work properly. And the way it worked with channels etc was pretty darn confusing.

The WORST thing about the app was that it had a very confusing delete/remove action. If I recall, ‘delete’ meant something different in two different areas of the player/manager. Where you would think it was just delete from your library, it would actually delete music files from your harddrive. Unbelievably, it was a hard delete rather than sending to the recycle bin. I accidentally lost a ton of music this way.

Again, legal P2P radio was an excellent idea and I’d hoped to use it on my website to let my readers listen to my entire music collection. But it was fairly incompetently executed and I can imagine that not working out some fairly major kinks was at least partially to blame for its failure. I also read a few comments saying what’s the point, we have last.fm and pandora. So that seemed to indicate they didn’t get across what they had to offer, which was very unique.

I hope someone else picks up the idea and that can find a way to make it financially viable.

Buzzlair

Gimme their business plan so i can work it out. Cheers (kidding)

Jeremy Pepper

Nice scoop.

When I would get pitched by their firm – and that was alot – it seemed like the messaging was all over the place, and I never was able to grasp what they were supposed to be about after the initial launch.

LaunchingToday.com

I don’t understand these fast closures of large-ish websites. Why not stay alive (with barebones staff) and try and settle for a low acquisition?

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