Bop.fm, the promising but recently languishing startup that made the most elegant attempt at integrating the world's many, and disparate music services, has been acquired by LifeLock, an Arizona-based identity theft protection company. The service was shut down today, and has no plans to continue operations.
In a post explaining the closure, Bop.fm co-founders Shehzad Daredia and Stefan Gomez write that, "While proud of what our small team has accomplished in a short period of time, we realized that we still had a long way to go to unify the ever-evolving digital music landscape. Building out a central destination for consumers can be very expensive and require hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, in an industry fraught with monetization concerns."
The idea behind Bop.fm was elegant and common-sense, giving artists the ability to share one link on their social media accounts that would work for anyone. Venture capitalist Ben Horowitz used the service almost exclusively when posting links to rap songs on his blog.
In its short, promising life the company raised $2 million across two funding rounds and drew interest from Lil Wayne and Ariana Grande and partnered with the Grammys, Facebook and Billboard's own Trending 140 chart.
"Many of our friends cautioned us against getting into music, because of the pitfalls faced by so many music startups" Bop.fm co-founder Shehzad Daredia told Billboard in 2013, only several days removed from the launch of the platform. "It's also very difficult to acquire users and monetizing them. But we started Bop.fm anyway because we were frustrated with the fragmentation within digital music today."