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UK music streamer Bloom.fm seeks buyer to avoid closure

Service signs up over a million users in just over a year

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UK-based music streamer Bloom.fm has begun searching for a buyer after its main investor suddenly pulled out yesterday.

Bloom.fm, which has signed up over a million users in the UK, announced in a blog post yesterday afternoon that it was closing after Russian TV network TNT withdrew funding. However, later in the day the company told Music Ally that it wanted to remain in operation and was seeking a buyer.

“We’ve decided we’re going to run a 7-10 day bidding process to see who wants to buy us,” said Bloom.fm CEO, Oleg Fomenko. “Around a dozen people have expressed interest already, and the process is probably going to be run by our administrators.

“There is a product and there is a team that can either disappear and go to various different places, or survive. I would rather this had gone completely differently, but if the alternatives are to bury or to live, I’ll choose survival.”

The service, which offers 22 million tracks through its network and is available on iOS, Android and web, has attracted 1,158,914 registered users since its launch 15 months ago. It has an impressive four and a half star rating on the App Store.

Fomenko told The Guardian that TNT had pulled out largely because of "organisation change on the side of our investors". He also revealed there were difficulties balancing the books with Bloom.fm's royalty payouts to music rightsholders.

Prior to revealing that the company was looking for a buyer, Bloom.fm said: "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. A massive thanks to everyone that helped us get this far. We're absolutely gutted. But it's been a real pleasure."

Bloom.fm, which is headquarted in Chiswick, West London, offers both free and paid for services.

The free version allows users to stream “personalised radio channels” based on the genres they like and what they've listened to previously. Meanwhile, the premium version allows users to download tracks and listen to them offline in the same way that Spotify does. It costs between £1 and £10 a month depending on how many songs the user wants to cache.



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