Today marked the death of two great startups: AllPeers and Ezmo. AllPeers is the Firefox extension that originally emerged as a way to share files between your friends and family, and later on they started to support BitTorrent transfers. Having this integrated into your browser is pretty convenient, but it didn’t take off quite like they hoped that it would. They didn’t get the user growth that they were shooting for, and that’s understandable. The extension didn’t last long on my system because it was difficult to find other people willing to install it, which is required if you want to share files with them.
Here’s a snippet from what the AllPeers blog had to say about shutting down the service:
It is with deep regret that we inform our users, friends and fans that we will be shutting down the AllPeers service today. We are tremendously proud of the product that our team has built, and we remain convinced of the potential of adding social features like file sharing to the web browser. However, we have not achieved the kind of growth in our user base that our investors were expecting, and as a result we are not able to continue operating the service.
Ezmo actually sounds like a pretty nifty music sharing service, but I hadn’t heard about it until today. They would let you upload your music to their servers so that you could listen to it no matter where you were at. The software worked with iTunes, Winamp, and Windows Media Player for uploading your tunes, which you could then share with your friends.
They ran into problems when trying to work with the music labels who weren’t very cooperative:
It has always been clear to us that Ezmo had to be a free service for all users. Our revenue model is based on music sales (and promotion), for which one needs at least some sort of cooperation with music labels. We have had repeated meetings and contact with the major labels, but their willingness to cooperate in finding innovative solutions for music sales seems non-existent. Their terms were not compatible with the conditions a small start-up operates under. We still feel absolutely confident that services like Ezmo will have a major significance in the future, but the lack of cooperation and even threats of lawsuits from the labels and their organisations has made intermediate financing paramount in order to secure a necessary time horizon for the company. Without that financing in place, Ezmo has no alternative but to shut the service down and close the company.
So here we are burying two great startups today. The AllPeers site has already been taken down, but the extension is still available on the Firefox add-ons site. Ezmo will continue running until March 14th.
Thanks to Emil for the tip on Ezmo!