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Earbits is an independent music radio station with no commercials. The website was shutdown on June 16th 2014, but was brought back online on June 19th, 2014. As the shutdown was announced 4 days before the due-date, Archiveteam was in a hurry to get as much as possible of the service archived.
Earbits will be shutting down June 16th
by Joey Flores
| June 12, 2014 | Online Radio News
To our Earbits Listeners, Artists, and Labels,
It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the shutting down of the Earbits service on June 16th.
Shutting down a company after 4.5 years is going to be painful for anybody but is particularly painful for us here at Earbits. Most startups validate over the course of a few years that their concept is inherently flawed, or that the economics of it would not work out at scale. For Earbits, nothing could be further from the truth. We proved to ourselves and a substantial number of artists and listeners that our concept does work, that our vision is what the industry and larger streaming providers need to be doing in order to create more value, but that we simply needed a lot more capital to pursue such an aggressive mission properly. In trying to build a digital media, two sided marketplace in an already tough industry, it appears we bit off more than we could chew.
That being said, for over four years our team worked tirelessly toward the goal of turning streaming music into a true creator of value for the content community. By showcasing features that allowed our listeners to connect with our artists, we generated for them hundreds of thousands of new mailing list signups and Facebook fans across a relatively small audience. The revenue and other value that our partners generated from these new connections was often ten or twenty times higher than what they receive from ad-supported royalties on major services, and it provides concrete evidence that there is more streaming companies can do to provide the content community with a return for their hard work.
If there is anything that we want to impart on the industry about our experience it’s this. If today’s streaming companies truly care about the creators of their product, they’re going to have to do more than talk about wanting to drive more value. It takes ingenuity and sacrifice to change an industry like the one we are all so passionate about. At Earbits, we have helped to shine a light on new and innovative ways that streaming can bring value to artists and content owners, and to provide an example of the sort of short term sacrifices it takes to begin to truly solve this problem. Though we are hopeful about the future of streaming, two things are clear to us through our conversations throughout the industry. Most companies understand that the types of solutions we built at Earbits are an inevitability for any successful and sustainable streaming provider, but those companies are just not prepared to make those sacrifices today.
We want to take an opportunity to thank every supporter, listener, artist, label and even naysayer who helped to shape the Earbits journey since we started the company in 2010. And more than anything, we want to thank our team and investors who took this risk alongside us. All of you helped us to accomplish more than anyone thought possible and our team is eternally grateful to have been given the chance to pursue this vision and impact artists and music lovers for four great years.
We hope that the connections we enabled between music lovers and our artists will continue long after the Earbits service is gone, so we encourage our listeners to take the next few days to note the bands and songs they bookmarked on the Earbits service.
As we have done from day one, we want to do right by our artists and label partners. All artists or labels who purchased Earbits marketing services can request a pro-rated refund by emailing our client services team by June 18th. More instructions have been sent to paying clients directly.
Thank you again to everybody who played a part in this incredible journey. We are eternally grateful and look forward to staying in touch. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at joey at earbits dot com.
Thanks for everything.
Archiving was mainly organised by Schbirid, with Arkiver, ByMe, db48x, deathy, garyrh, joepie, midas, Mithrandir, zyce and probably others collaborating, downloading, uploading and being awesome. We used a mix of Bash scripts, duct-tape and alcohol.
Arkiver did a Heritrix crawl of the following domains:
The warc's are uploaded to the arkiver packs.
We discovered that http://streaming.earbits.com/api/v1/track.json?slug=TRACKTITLE would give us a download URL for the mp3s, so we simply did that for all the ~130,000 tracks.
Assets (Images mostly)
We discovered that their "assets" s3 bucket was publically listing its files. So we grabbed the list and downloaded them all. We excluded private and personal files from this, there were spreadsheets...
You can find the archived files at https://archive.org/search.php?query=earbits
The MP3s have hashes as filenames, you can find the corresponding metadata in the metadata item.
"Back online indefinitely"
After we were done and Earbits displayed their "we're gone" landing page, they came back online a few days later.
You spoke. Someone listened. Earbits is back online.
by Joey Flores
| June 19, 2014 | Online Radio News
Dear friends, listeners, artists and labels,
It has been one hell of a week, and we could not be more excited to bring you some truly unbelievable news.
On Friday, we announced that we had run out of funding and would be shutting down the Earbits service. We received countless emails from artists and listeners showing their support for the Earbits vision, and they spoke up on Twitter and across the web. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to go offline two days ago.
The sentiment of the community did not go unnoticed. Since then, a strategic partner has stepped forward and provided the necessary funding to bring Earbits back online indefinitely. The web service and mobile apps have been relaunched, effective immediately. Seriously…go look!! —> www.earbits.com
As is the nature of these things, I can’t provide much more information at this time. What we can say is that we feel truly blessed by the support that we received this week. With the help of our strategic partners, we look forward to not only continuing the services that our fans and artists have come to love but positioning ourselves at the center of a music industry revolution.
We will be sharing any further details with our partners, users and the community just as soon as we can.
Thank you to everyone who came out in support of Earbits and our team. It was the most heartwarming show of support anyone could have asked for. Thanks to you, our future is now looking brighter than ever.