Beyond Oblivion, a New York-based startup with an innovative take on the idea of unlimited music, has closed its doors before its product had even launched, the Financial Times reports [paywalled link].
The idea behind Beyond Oblivion’s Boinc service was that it would remove the need for users to have to pay a monthly subscription or listen to adverts, as with Spotify and its rivals. Instead, users would pay a flat fee for the service which would be bundled into the purchase price of hardware such as PCs and smartphones.
Users would get unlimited streaming and downloading access to Boinc’s music library for the lifetime of the device you bought it with. Social music discovery and sharing features were to be included as well.
Despite Beyond Oblivion having the financial backing of News Corp, the FT’s sources put the blame on the company’s failure on persuading labels to license their music, and electronics companies to include the service with their products. Manufacturers were supposedly worried that having to pay again for the service would put consumers off upgrading their hardware in the future.
Originally slated for release in 2010 but delayed, early 2012 was the most recent planned launch date for the service. Its closure shows that while the music industry is more receptive to digital innovation than it used to be, not every idea will fly. It’s also another music-related investment flop for News Corp, which sold off Myspace for $35 million this summer, after having bought it for over 16 times that amount six years earlier.