Game over for Bloom.fm as investor pulls funding, what now for its 1m users?

Game over for Bloom.fm as investor pulls funding, what now for its 1m users?

Popular UK streaming service Bloom.fm has shut down out of the blue as one of its primary early investors has unexpectedly pulled the company’s funding.

The company announced the news on its blog:

We’ll keep this short because we’re pretty shell-shocked. It’s game over for Bloom.fm. Our investor, who’s been along for the ride since day one, has unexpectedly pulled our funding.
  It’s come so out of the blue that we don’t have time to find new investment. So, with enormous regret, we have to shut up shop.
This is a poetically crappy turn of events as our young business was showing real promise. Our apps and web player are looking super-nice and we had 1,158,914 registered users in a little over a year. Yep.
A massive thanks to everyone that helped us get this far. We’re absolutely gutted. But it’s been a real pleasure.

At the time of writing the company’s main website is still live with no major announcements on the home page. The news is sure to send shockwaves through the community of small and medium-sized streaming companies that have not yet achieved the scale and funding of Deezer, Spotify and Rdio.

Bloom.fm’s potential demise is especially unfortunate as the company was one of the few that played around with the pricing models for streaming aiming to attract consumers who would not be able to pay £9.99 per month with price points starting at just a pound per month for a limited number of “cacheable” tracks.

If the funding was pulled as suddenly as described in the post the company’s public reaction may also be a way to attract press and last-minute investors who may be able to salvage the service. In that sense it's not all over yet in spite of the company claiming that it's too late for another investor to step in.

The company had already seen a considerable amount of investment going into it and it’s not often that investors exit the picture without allowing some time to look at - for example - acquisition options. As of yet we don’t have any figures on how many of the million-plus registered users were on a paid tier and what will happen to those who have paid for the service so far.

Something else that needs to be taken into consideration is the fact that Bloom.fm attracted many first timers to the music streaming space, thanks to both a massive advertising campaign that took over public transportation in London in 2013 with ads in the Underground and on the bus network and also thanks to its low point of entry pricing-wise.

The demise Bloom.fm, with users potentially losing all the information & playlists created within it, could be a massive blow to the credibility of streaming services in general amongst those mainstream consumers. The service was very appealing to a younger demographic and its disappearance could drive them back to “underground” and non-licensed means of exchanging and listening to music.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments on this story as and when they come in.

(Andrea Leonelli)