Feeds

Startup goes titsup: Beyond Oblivion's crash is beyond belief

Murdoch, charity also face write-offs as digital music outfit goes bust

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

It isn't just scofflaw copyright criminals who cause grief for the music business. Sometimes it's quite capable of lining up its own feet for a shooting party.

Digital music's answer to Boo.com – Adam Kidron's music startup Beyond Oblivion – has gone bust. It owed creditors between $100m and $500m, but had assets of just $10m, according to bankruptcy filings in a New York court. The startup filed for Chapter 11 protection just after Christmas, without ever launching its service. It left two of the four major labels – Sony and Warner – exposed to $50m of "trade debt" each. News International had invested $11.2m, along with – and it's quite surreal, this one – the medical charitable foundation, The Wellcome Trust.

How making a speculative investment in a digital music service squares with the Trust's goal of "achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health" is a mystery only the Trust can answer. Perhaps carrying around so much cash was giving the Trust a bad back – and Beyond Oblivion offered relief. Wellcome has also invested in - of all things - undersea cable for the US, UK, Canada and Iceland.

A Beyond Oblivion spokesman explained to us last spring that the concept was similar to Nokia's Comes With Music, with unlimited music being bundled with mobile devices. He added that most of the investment was rapidly circulated along to the record companies. But Beyond Oblivion also splashed big on marketing. The company spent heavily on selling itself – you can catch a bit of that flavour in this corporate vid:

A demonstration promised for June came and went, and little more was heard.

Adam Kidron is the son of Michael Kidron, a Marxist theorist and editor at Pluto Press [obit]. Kidron's previous internet venture, Urban Box Office, also spectacularly burned through tens of millions of investment before going titsup in 2001. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.