We've written about them over the years, but it's sad to say that our friends at HearJapan are closing shop. Citing unanticipated costs in redesigning their website, the company will be ending their business on June 30th. Until then, users can still purchase music and download their already-purchased items.
They do mention that the site could stay running if someone bought them out. You know, just throwing that one out there.
The unfortunate reality is that the Japanese music scene is a niche market -- one that exists almost exclusively through piracy. There have been efforts to mass-market Japanese music -- through Geneon's music line and some big-named Japanese celebrities -- but with little effect. HearJapan offered to remove some of the barriers by offering digital downloads directly from the source, and made a good enough run over its five-year career.
And so we must say goodbye to someone whose goal was to bring Japanese content to the masses.
From other sites around the web