Music Service Beyond Oblivion Collapses Before Launch (Report)

Adam Kidron - P 2006
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An ambitious digital music business, which sought to become a competitor to iTunes and Spotify, has shut down before its planned launch in the Fall.

LONDON - Beyond Oblivion, which was partly owned by News Corp. and had raised $87 million (£55.8 million) from investors, closed down last week, raising doubts over News Corp.'s digital strategy and fears that a second internet bubble is building, according to The Telegraph .

The closure was confirmed by Adam Kidron, the British record producer and entrepreneur, who describes himself as chief executive officer and imagineer of Beyond Oblivion and a "brand and lifestyle prognosticator."

His idea was to offer an online music service that would be not only completely free of subscription fees but also free from advertising. The service was a cloud-based service allowing users to store and share music across multiple devices – MP3 players, mobile phones, and computers. It intended to pay a royalty to record labels each time their music was played. This would be funded by charging consumers a flat fee on the hardware – be it a mobile phone or computer.

It is understood that Beyond Oblivion struggled to persuade the hardware manufacturers to collect the money from shoppers when they bought the product, said The Telegraph.

It is understood that the service, which was to be called Boinc, had burnt through its $87 million, raised from not just News Corp. but also the Wellcome Foundation, added The Telegraph.

In a statement, Kidron blamed the failure of Beyond Oblivion on the difficulty of "coordinating the diversity of the ecosystem" which included artists, labels and manufacturers.

"Beyond was always a tremendously grand ambition as the advances required by the record labels and music publishers were substantial, reflecting the breadth of the rights required to create a true digital music one-stop," said Mr Kidron, who signed off the statement with the words: "Until victory always."