Nearly two months after claiming his start-up was fine, co-founder Billy Chasen is closing the chapter on Turntable.fm. The service will end December 2.
The news came via Turntable.fm's official blog, as Chasen wrote that "the cost of running a music service has been too expensive and we can't outpace it with our efforts to monetize it to cut costs."
There's also Turntable Live, an offshoot of the original that offers streaming live concerts, which he'd prefer to focus on, given the demand he's been seeing--most notably, "our last performance with Nat & Alex Wolff raised $670 and had 170 people tune in from all over the world," said Chasen.
It's unfortunate that Turntable.fm didn't survive, but not surprising. Most music start-ups can't find a way to turn profits no matter how many users they add. Royalty payments are one thing; finding a way to stand out is another.
Even Spotify, which landed $250 million in venture funding this week at a $4 billion valuation, left experts less than enthused because of its losses in recent years.
Then again, Turntable.fm may not have been built to last. As Burt Helm wrote in his profile last year, tension between the two founders, Chasen and Seth Goldstein, was apparent.
Drawing 360,000 users in three months, then $7 million in funding at a $37 million valuation was impressive at first, but not enough to keep the "confident, stubborn" Chasen from failing to market Turntable.fm in the way that it needed.