ExFM started out as a Chrome extension for music discovery nearly four years ago. While the company grew initially, it has floundered for a while and has now announced that it will be shutting down the service by January 15.
The problem with ExFM, right from the start, was that it was a Chrome extension at the time it was launched. This immediately limited it to a small audience which not only used Chrome but also knew how to use the browser’s extensions was interested in discovering music through these extensions. Although the company eventually released apps and opened up to a larger market, it was too late by then.
It must also not be forgotten that at about that time back then, the online music industry was heating up and many streaming and subscription-based music services had also hit the bandwagon. Amid such fierce competition, it is not difficult to see why ExFM failed and couldn’t sustain the business model it had adopted.
In an official note sent out by ExFM to its users, the company reveals why it failed and how its problems piled up over time. The exact note reads:
“After an amazing four years of sweat and tears, we’re ever-so-reluctantly accepting the reality of sustaining the Exfm platform as it exists today. The high costs of processing millions of new songs every month while attempting to keep that data relevant and useable is monumental. The technical challenges are compounded by the litigious nature of the music industry, which means every time we have any meaningful growth, it’s coupled with the immediate attention of the record labels in the form of takedowns and legal emails. Today, subscription services are gaining in popularity and enjoy the blessings of most major labels at a non trivial cost to those companies.”
The company had reportedly raised $2.75 million from Spark Capital. Given the circumstances of the announced closure on January 15, it seems unlikely that the service will be relaunched or rebranded in the future.
Courtesy: All Things D