So much for the label-backed TotalMusic being the answer to the problems of streaming online music. The company appears to have closed its doors at the same time as shutting down Ruckus, its recently-acquired service that targets US university students.TotalMusic recently launched a playlisting/streaming service called Tunepost in private beta, but Jason Herskowitz – the exec who revealed Tunepost to the world – has confirmed on his blog that the company’s label backers pulled the plug.”In these extremely hard economic times (particularly for those in the music industry) it’s hard to blame them from pulling the plug on a still-highly-speculative offering,” he writes. TotalMusic had reportedly also been pitching to run Facebook’s mooted music service.It all begs the question, if a service backed by two major labels (UMG and Sony) can’t make the economics of licensed, ad-supported music streaming add up, is it any surprise so many startups are opting for the unlicensed route?

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