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ZapTunes Closes, Starts New Business (or scam?)

Posted by: , 11:51 AEDT, Thu January 6, 2011

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The infamous ZapTunes, which offered the unbelievable deal 8 million DRM-free song downloads for only $25 per month, has just cancelled the accounts of all of those who signed up

Back in September, all the talk was about a new music download website called ZapTunes. And most of the talk was about how it was most likely a scam.

ZapTunes offered users who signed up to their $25 per month subscription plan unlimited downloads (not just stream) from their 8 million strong DRM-free library of songs. Sounds too good to be true? That's a question many asked at the time. ZapTunes even offered a free trial account that allowed you to download without paying a cent, as long as you hand over your credit card number to them, you know, so they can charge your card if you don't cancel your trial account and move to the subscription service. This wasn't a strange arrangement, many "trials", such as online video rental trials, do require you to provide payment details upfront.

What made it somewhat clearer that this was indeed a scam was the fact that ZapTunes advertised the availability of The Beatles songs - something that was entirely impossible back in September, since Apple has only in the last few weeks signed the historical deal to bring Beatles songs into the digital world. 

So it comes to no surprise that ZapTunes announced their endgame only a few month after their launch in a press release (and even their press release reads a bit sketchy). They announced this back in October. The announcement they've just made (in another slightly sketchy press release) says they are returning, but as a new type of business - a "social music discovery network". And as soon as their new website launches, they will cancel the accounts of everyone who signed up to the $25 deal of the century. One wonders what will happen to all those credit card numbers that ZapTunes had stored up to this point.

ZapTunes claimed that, at their peak, they had 25,000 subscribers, which if they were charged $25 per month, resulted in $625,000 in income for ZapTunes. But despite this, ZapTunes claim that they could not "get to a point of profit". Perhaps part of the reason was that they had to spend most of this money to fight "numerous DMCA complaints and lawsuits", which is never a good sign.

So what is ZapTunes? A big scam? Or naive start-up? Post your opinion on ZapTunes in our forum:

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