WFMU’s Free Music Archive Won’t Shut Down After All
WFMU’s Free Music Archive has been purchased for an undisclosed amount by the camera rental startup KitSplit. The curated music library and digital community, founded in 2009, faced imminent closure last month due to depleted financial resources, including a reduced grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Kitsplit plans to maintain the website’s educational blog, curated playlists, artist submissions, and other features. “Many of us at KitSplit have admired and used FMA over the years,” the company said in a statement. “At heart, our missions are aligned: supporting artists, and fostering a more vibrant creative culture.”
Longtime FMA director Cheyenne Hohman will not continue her role. Hohman expressed enthusiasm for the archive’s future in a blog post, but expressed disappointment to The Verge about her departure. “I have to say I’m not stoked,” she said. “I respect what they’re doing as a business, but they are a business. So it’s going to be a little bit different from being run by a nonprofit.”
Hohman offered a heartfelt goodbye last month in a post announcing the archive’s financial troubles. “This project has changed lives for the better; it has forged entire music careers from simple online posts; it has helped facilitate a new way of approaching music licensing and audio sharing in the digital age,” she wrote.