Streaming music service Earbits has a new owner: The Los Angeles-based startup has been acquired by You42 Inc., an Atlanta-based online entertainment company that started out as a mobile gaming studio, but has ambitions to go into social networking and artist services.
“You42 is currently in stealth,” said Earbits co-founder Joey Flores, adding: “They are incredibly well funded and will be launching new products outside of gaming soon. Earbits is accelerating their entrance into music.”
The acquisition of Earbits actually happened last year, when Earbits briefly shut down for lack of funding, only to miraculously reappear a few days later. So why announce it now? Because Earbits is abou to release new apps for iOS and Android, said Flores: “Going live with the apps without having announced we had been acquired seemed confusing.”
Earbits is offering its users a personalized radio service similar to Pandora, but without any ads or subscription fees. Instead, the company has been offering artists paid marketing services. Flores said that there are no immediate plans to add traditional advertising. “We’ve got a lot of ideas for how to generate value without regular ads,” he said, adding: “We plan to be more creative than ads.”
Flores didn’t disclose how much You42 paid for Earbits, or which role it will play for the company. You42 states on its site that it aims to launch “the world’s first true social entertainment network.” It looks like Earbits will eventually rebrand as You42 Radio, which You42 incorporated as a corporate subsidiary last month.