what happened to murfie

Nearly a million albums might not get back to their owners. So, too, did its recent CEO Gurmukh Mangat. Wisconsin Investment and Strategic Capital Partners announced it was a leading funder for Murfie in a $1.1 million series AA round of financing in April. Murfie started in 2010 with co-founders Matt Younkile and Preston Austin. But it wasn’t enough. Whoever’s now in charge even seems to have violated Murfie’s terms of use by not returning discs, changing return rates, and refusing to refund customer credits. Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.com or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. "The only thing I'm concerned about is getting my CDs back," Cosimano said. As Tone Madison reported, Murfie asked people to re-up their membership as late as November 17th, just five days before it sent out an email saying it had “ceased operations.”. Enter John Fenley, the owner of Crossies LLC. Younkle left in 2015. At the beginning of the decade, Murfie had more of an appeal: high-res streaming wasn’t common yet, and nearly every household had boxes of CDs and vinyl. My name is Murfie. Here’s the email I got yesterday. But by 2019, physical media was outmoded and high-fidelity streaming became competitive, especially with the entrance of Amazon Music HD. Murfie started in 2010 with co-founders Matt Younkile and Preston Austin. Those instructions came a week later, on Black Friday, when a second email said customers had four days to claim their collections or they’d be marked “abandoned.” Not only that, but they’d have to pay a shipping fee over 10 times higher than Murfie’s normal return cost in order to get back their discs. Last month, almost a million CDs stored in Wisconsin seemed to disappear. As a result, the new customer pool dried up along with fresh investment dollars. "Actual costs that will be invoiced to you will vary as it is subject to the labor required to extract and assemble your discs," according to a letter sent to customers. Any discs that are not claimed will be recycled by the end of December. That would be about $800 in all for Cosimano. Murfie has in its possession hundreds of thousands of CDs that many customers would like returned. “The financial impact for me is significant,” they wrote on a forum. Murfie did not respond to requests for an interview. "I wish it wasn't going to cost me this much. It turns out, customers were given some warning about their collections disappearing — but you can’t blame them for missing it. Although the site is offline, the Murfie help desk is still up with a page about what happens if the company were to shut down. A tipster says Murfie customers still trying to get their collections back can try emailing cdreturns2u@gmail.com, which is monitored by people connected to Murfie who are still hoping to return discs. In his later years, Murphy squandered his fortune on gambling and bad investments and was in financial ruin when he died in a plane crash on May 28, 1971. Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn, DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. “There was always something comforting and familiar about having my exact collection available, forever, in its original quality,” Younkle says. On 28 May 1971, Murphy was killed when the private plane in which he was a passenger crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia, 20 miles (32 km) west of Roanoke in conditions of rain, clouds, fog and zero visibility. “It would have been over $400 to get my CDs back,” he says. But the company doesn't have the resources to take on that task. I took on a new role in September and have only been a customer since then. Telling customers on a holiday weekend they need to pony up inflated fees ASAP or lose their CDs and vinyl is a racket that only looks out for the creditors picking up Murfie’s pieces. They said a new CEO was put in place, the company was reorganized, and varied mergers and acquisitions were pursued. "Despite whatever you may have invested initially in your collection, the prices of CDs have fallen dramatically with the preponderance of streaming and digital media.". But last month, Cosimano and other customers were blindsided when they received an email announcing that Murfie Inc. had ceased operations. Now, customers fear their physical music collections may be lost forever. “In the event Murfie goes out of business, you will get back every CD and vinyl record you own in your current collection.”, A small Wisconsin company stored thousands of people’s CDs, then suddenly vanished, The best Cyber Monday deals that you can already get, The early Cyber Monday deals are plentiful, Here are the best Cyber Monday deals happening at Best Buy, The best Cyber Monday deals on noise-canceling headphones, The best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on games, It’s the best time of the year to stock up on games, The best Cyber Monday deals on Apple devices, You can get the new MacBook Pro on a discount, Sign up for the Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal. Hello! Cosimano paid a $100 deposit to start the return of his CDs. But it could be more. Murfie had been a promising tech startup in Wisconsin, earning a spot in highly competitive seed accelerator Techstars in 2012. Murfie is an American commercial music streaming service originally based in Madison, Wisconsin. Murfie had raised around $2 million from 2013 to 2015, according to SEC filing tracking website FormDs.com. Whatever was left of Murfie as a company had totally dissolved. Murfie gave a simple explanation for why it had terminated all business operations: It had no money. Customers had always expected to get their discs back — it was part of the company’s promise. The firm declined to comment. To customers who trusted the company to hold on to their music, the closure felt sudden. So five years ago he shipped off his collection of hard rock and heavy metal CDs to Madison and for around $700, everything was digitized. A person familiar with Murfie’s funding said it was widely known it had been in financial trouble for years. They could no longer stream music, and emails went unanswered. Now he's waiting to receive a shipment of the 1,500 discs he had stored with Murfie — and find out how much it will cost. “It’s like nobody wants to take ownership of this,” Hesseldahl says. “I’m SO BURNED to the tune of THOUSANDS of dollars,” tweeted a customer. CDs can be found in the warehouse, packaged and returned only as long as the landlord cooperates. Other customers found the price to get their music back cost prohibitive. more, Subscriber exclusive: Milwaukee's most important commercial development trends of the past decade extend beyond downtown, Independent booksellers persevere despite Amazon, rising costs, We followed four Wisconsin dairy farms for a year as they struggled with an industry-wide crisis, one didn't make it, FOLLOW JS BUSINESS: A third email on December 2nd extended the deadline to December 5th, and said there might be one or two in-person pickup days scheduled for those in Madison “if we can obtain the permission of the landlord.”, “Abandoned discs will be recycled by the end of December,” read an email, “when the storage facility must be vacated.”, One person who stored 10,000 CDs with Murfie missed the claiming period and had over $400 in his account from sales on the platform that won’t be returned. The customers who entrusted their libraries to the service now need to pay up to get their stuff back. “Now that Murfie is gone, listening to my CDs is about to become a lot less convenient.”. While Murfie’s business model probably wasn’t going to work far into the future, it also didn’t have to end in agonizing failure. For nine years, it had done that. Members could also digitize and store CDs and LPs they sent from home to Murfie. Go add me! "Starting Block seeks to be there for both outcomes. It'll cost him an additional 45 cents per disc. “It stinks.”. He could also buy and sell music through the company. But late last month, the service stopped, and customers who went to the website found it had gone offline. So, too, did its recent CEO Gurmukh Mangat.

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