Tapely announced on Friday that it will be shutting down in the coming weeks. Founder Alex Nikolaidis penned a blog post explaining that the playlisting/mixtape service never got the momentum needed to take off.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to reach the escape velocity necessary to be a large, relevant service in the (very tough) music industry,” he said. “The decision to shut down was difficult but is inevitable for a small startup like us.”
Tapely had a respectably long life, with an initial launch in 2012 and a major redesign in 2014. Its online translation of the old-school act of creating a mixtape did catch our eye, but as Nikolaidis said, the field for new music startups is fiercely competitive. Many startups do approach the music space with creative ideas for how people can listen in the digital era, but turning those concepts into profitable businesses has proven a challenge. We’ve seen many new properties enter the race over the past year, but several have already dropped out. For instance, This Is My Jam closed down in August and Bop.fm was just acquired by a non-music company. Success seems to require not just a great idea, but also smart design, legal expertise, targeted marketing, and a healthy dose of good luck.