After a gallant effort to avoid the deadpool after its investor, Russian TV channel TNT, withdrew funding a few weeks ago, mobile-first UK music streaming startup Bloom.fm will shutter in the next few days — with its remaining assets being put up for sale.
After previously calling time on the service, only to then be given hope of finding a buyer, with over 20 parties showing interest and one going through to potential acquisition talks but who has now withdrawn, the London-based startup has run its course. They say it’s not over till the fat lady sings, and she appears to be singing loudly, even if the song isn’t an enjoyable one.
“After Bloom.fm was placed in administration we received incredible amount of support from our users and a lot of commercial interest from prospective buyers,” Oleg Fomenko, CEO and co-founder of Bloom.fm, said in a statement. “One offer stood out in particular, as it would have allowed Bloom to continue in the spirit we originally intended. We have worked furiously on finalising it, but unfortunately, due to very tight timelines and complexities associated with the administration process, the deal fell through at the last minute.”
Bloom.fm claimed 1.2 million UK registered users for its iOS and Android apps, with a web version and Sonos integration ready to launch. A version for Windows Phone was also already in development. The company never said publicly how many of those registered users are paying subscribers. And from confidential documents I’ve been privy to, unsurprisingly, its burn rate was not inconsiderate; cracking the music streaming market takes deep pockets, due to fees payable to artists and publishers, requiring incredible scale to turn a profit. This is something that Bloom.fm was unable to achieve given its unanticipated short runway of just over a year.
When I first wrote about the startup in May last year, I described it as a mobile-first music streaming service, launching four months earlier as an iOS-only app and offering an innovative mix of free and paid tiers. The app can be used entirely for free in streaming-only internet radio mode, or users paid for more flexible access. The latter was pitched as a “borrow, enjoy, return” model and started from just £1 per month to temporarily download 20 tracks from Bloom.fm at any one time. The startup also offered £5 and £10 plans for 200 and unlimited tracks, respectively.
“I would like to offer massive thanks to my team who have supported us through such a difficult time, our users who gave us a reason to get up in the morning and all our business partners for the rare opportunity to launch something truly innovative,” continues Fomenko in a statement. “We strongly believe in what Bloom.fm was trying to achieve and look forward to seeing someone successfully giving UK music fans a fantastic streaming service at a reasonable price.”