Less than 2 years after closing a $12m funding round, livestreaming platform Mandolin shutters

During the pandemic, it was billed as one of the leading platforms in the music livestreaming space. Last year, it was named the most innovative music company in the world by Fast Company.

But now Mandolin has announced it’s shutting down its platform.

Mandolin was co-founded in June 2020 by former Salesforce EVP and COO Mary Kay Huse, who became its CEO.

In June 2021, the firm announced that it had closed a USD $12 million Series A funding round, co-led by 645 Ventures and Foundry Group, with returning investments from High Alpha and Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures.

That investment came eight months after Mandolin secured a separate $5 million seed investment, with participation from High Alpha Capital, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

In a statement on Instagram yesterday (April 19), Mandolin confirmed: “After 3 incredible years, we are sad to announce that Mandolin will no longer be offering the digital fan experiences you’ve come to love. We’d like to sincerely thank every fan that supported their favorite artist’s livestream, digital meet & greet and fan page on our platform; doing so helped create a more authentic ecosystem for fans and artists alike.

“We sincerely believe in the power of fans to uplift the entire music community for the better, so please consider redirecting the money and attention you would have paid to see a stream with us to buying your favorite artist’s latest vinyl, merch or tour ticket on their channels of choice!”

In June last year, Indianapolis-headquartered Mandolin announced via a press release that it was launching the “music industry’s first all-in-one data unification and recommendation platform”.

That launch involved the introduction of ‘Fan Navigator’ – which Mandolin called “the most powerful data dashboard available in the Industry” – plus ‘Fan Pages’.

The media release stated: “Trusted by over 1,000 artists to date, Mandolin Fan Experiences is the industry’s most comprehensive set of fan connection tools, spanning from livestreams and digital meet & greets to NFTs. And now, with the help of Mandolin Fan Page, a free feature-rich link-in-bio solution, artists can create a hyper-engaged community in just a few clicks, rewarding superfans while deanonymizing passive fans.”

Mandolin isn’t the first music livestreaming platform to hit the skids in the post-pandemic era.

Sessions, which was founded by ex-Pandora boss Tim Westergren in 2020, quietly shut down in Q1 this year.

“Let’s face it, digital music has failed the working musician,” said Westergren at the time of Sessions’ launch.

“Recorded music has been devalued, and digital retail is driving artists further from their audience. They need an alternative. Sessions puts control back in the hands of the artist. We generate the audience and enable artists to turn that fan base into a dependable foundation of support and direct patronage. A financial reward system driven by fandom.”

Elsewhere in the tech x music sphere, we learned this month that Gimme Radio is to shut down on April 29.

The platform will shutter little over a year after raising a seven-figure investment from backers including The Orchard, iHeartMedia, and Concord.

Gimme Radio ran two services – Gimme Metal for heavy metal fans and Gimme Country for country/Americana fans.Music Business Worldwide