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.