September 21, 2015:‘Popcorn Time for music’ app Aurous abandons crowdfunding

‘Popcorn Time for music’ app Aurous abandons crowdfunding

zg4qhamcjpq60thnqjavEarlier this month, we reported on the upcoming launch of Aurous, a music-focused filesharing app whose slick interface – by which we mean an interface heavily inspired by Spotify – was already seeing it hailed as a “Popcorn Time for music”.

(Popcorn Time being the film-torrenting app that’s been making waves within the movie industry in recent months.)

Aurous would pull songs from websites as well as torrents, selling advertising to fund its business, although not royalty payments to the creators of the actual music being shared on it.

Aurous sounded like the kind of app that would be developed and released by a small team of developers, with its nature ruling out traditional forms of funding. Yet last week those developers took the surprising step of launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, trying to raise $25k to “help bring Aurous to your phone” following its desktop release.

Yet three days on, the campaign has been closed. “The Aurous team has agreed this campaign has brokered some unwanted attention and we are closing it. Our development will continue,” they explained.

Unwanted attention? It wouldn’t surprise us if that came from music rightsholders, with Digital Music News having reported on the crowdfunding campaign after it launched.

Unlike Popcorn Time at the time of that app’s launch, Aurous’ Miami-based creator Andrew Sampson has made his identity public from the start – complete with including Aurous on his LinkedIn profile. It’s a moot point whether the campaign would have hit its $25k-in-60-days goal: it raised nearly $500 in its first day, although the total has now slipped back to $25 since the cancellation.

We’ll see if Aurous appears in its promised desktop incarnation. The campaign may also bring some unwanted attention for Indiegogo and its approvals process for crowdfunding campaigns.

The company has been criticised regularly by technology news site PandoDaily, for example, for hosting campaigns for products accused of promising more than they can deliver.

The legals around a filesharing app like Aurous have just as many grey areas, but with Indiegogo keen to be seen as a platform for musicians to raise money, if this particular campaign had gone ahead and been a success, some artists considering using it would surely have been put off.

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Stuart Dredge
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