iLike, an online service for sharing and discovering music that was one of digital music's most exciting startups, is officially dead. Visits to the iLike.com URL are being redirected to a MySpace page with a notice about iLike's demise.
Entrepreneurs and investors take note: iLike went from a leadership position in social music to nothingness in less than the span between summer Olympics. iLike was a trailblazer in connecting people with music they love. It allowed music fans to follow their favorite artists' music and tour dates as well as buy downloads. It released a mobile app in 2009 that allowed people to track the concerts of their favorite artists - TechCrunch called it a "must-have" for people who keep tabs on their local music scenes. Also in 2009 the company partnered with Google to include streaming song clips in search results.
Investors saw the potential in using social media to connect fans with artists and their concerts. iLike received a $13.5 million investment from Ticketmaster in December 2006 in return for a 25% stake. Khosla Ventures and Bob Pittman, now the CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment, also invested in the company. There was no big payday, however. iLike was acquired by MySpace in August 2009 for a reported $20 million.
But success can be very short-lived in the worlds of social media and digital music. By 2011 iLike had become all but meaningless. Artists and fans have an entirely new set of social apps and services at their disposal. News Corp. unloaded MySpace for a paltry $35 million about 6 years after acquiring it for $530 million. The "iLike This Artist" Facebook app currently gets just 5,000 daily average users DAU and 160,000 monthly average users, according to AppData. That's just a fraction of the 1.7 million DAU and 31.7 million MAU received by the current leading Facebook app for artists, BandPages by RootMusic.