To Oblivion and Beyond. Wait No, Just Oblivion. $87 M. News Corp. Backed Startup Shuts Down Before Launch

Plotting. (Photo: File)

Betabeat was sceptical when we first heard about Beyond Oblivian, a New York based music startup that got $87 million in backing from big names like Allen & Co., Sony and News. Corp. The startup aimed to take on Spotify by offering an unlimited music streaming service with no monthly fee. Instead the service came baked into smartphones, adding around $60 to the cost of each device,

Seems like our doubts were well founded. The Financial Times is reporting that  has shut down before it even launched. Read More

Mix Tape Market

Songza Find the Perfect Playlist in 15 Seconds or Less

Songza Playlists

As a child, Betabeat used to lovingly curate the A and B sides of a 60 minutes cassette tape for each of our gift-giving relatives on Christmas. Since then, the mix tape has evolved into an element of the socially networked cloud, where we drag and drop mixes for friends on Spotify with a single click.

But there are plenty of occasions when Betabeat is pressed for time and hoping to find the suite of songs that will add just the right feeling to the gathering. So we were intrigued by Songza, a Long Island City startup which opens to the public tonight with a mobile app, web site, and the promise of better playlist discovery and development. Read More

Summer Jamz

Watch Your Back, Pitchfork: Google Launches Music Blog, Magnifier

I want my Google Music!

Google hopes its sprawling empire will soon extend to television and music, but has had little luck convincing the incumbent players to play nice with its products. As a back door, it seems Google is planning to produce its own content. It’s throwing $100 million into original programming on Youtube, and today Google launched its own music blog, Magnifier.

The site is intended to get users signed up for Google Music, the cloud storage locker which is still in beta. On the homepage today, Magnifier is offering free tracks from My Morning Jacket and The Walkmen for anyone who signs up for Google Music.  Read More

Summer Jamz

Bands Are Now Debuting Their Albums on

Ra Ra Riot

We’ve already seen artists like Diplo drop unheard singles on, and run quickly for cover when the crowd decided to lame it. But Matthew Santos, of the New York-based chamber pop orchestra Ra Ra Riot went one step further today, and debuted an entire album using the viral music service.

It would easy to dismiss this a a cynical marketing ploy in which a band leverages the music app du jour in order to get the biggest response on their new album’s first day. But Ra Ra Riot’s Matthew Santos saw it differently.

“It’s an important thing, you know? To be open to discovering and enjoying new music as an activity with both friends and other people whose taste you appreciate and trust,” Santos told Mashable’s Brenna Ehrlich. “This is basically the same thing, except it’s not limited to you and your friends’ record collections, and you guys don’t have to be in the same physical room.” Read More