Back in September, Turntable.fm fast follower Rolling.fm was trumpeting achievements and rolling out new features. “We are excited to announce there has been over 1,000,000 friendships made on Rolling.FM since our launch a little over a month ago! Our platform has definitely become the music AND social discovery platform,” cofounder Nhon Ma wrote in an email announcing more social features and an enhanced profile browser. But the streaming music game built by former Googlers seems to have dropped off the map sometime last month. “Was curious to know what was going on with rolling.fm after their site hasn’t been resolving for previous couple weeks,” a tipster wrote in.
Indeed, Rolling.fm does not resolve and the last tweet was on November 19. Rolling’s precursor, a social deals site called Tenka.com, is also not resolving.
The Facebook app had about 200 daily active users a month ago; now it has none, according to AppData. There’s evidence that Rolling was active until at least Dec. 15, when the producer duo Dada Life premiered a remix there; Bnet interviewed the startup on Dec. 8.
Tim Zhou, Rolling’s chief product officer, did not respond to an email request for comment. At present, the mysterious disappearance of Rolling.fm would appear to be due to three possible reasons:
1. Forgot to renew domain*
2. Cease and desist notice from scary record label
3. Failed to gain enough traction or funding, cofounders gave up on it (even Turntable’s traffic has been slipping)
*A reader points out that the domain expires in 2012, so this explanation is unlikely.
Rolling.fm caught some flak from the internet when it launched in the wake of Turntable.fm’s extreme success. The founders admitted they duped the idea, but appealed to the internet’s tradition of innovation. (Even Steve Jobs subscribed to the doctrine of “good artists copy, great artists steal.”)
The cofounders had pivoted from Tenka, a deals site that raised from seed investors including StubHub’s Jeff Fluhr, Great Oaks Venture Capital’s Ben Lin and Raj Sandhu, formerly of the Soros Fund. The site was available outside the U.S., unlike Turntable, which let them grab some easy users.
The cofounders switched to building Rolling in May, they said, which would mean Rolling had about a seven month run before giving up the ghost. But the co-founders put the startup on AngelList about nine months ago. We’ll update as we learn more.