Ruckus Music Shuts Down

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

University-focused music download service, Ruckus, has shut down. On February 6, visitors to the site encountered a posted message reporting that the site was undergoing an update. A short time later however, the site changed to display the following message: “Unfortunately the Ruckus service will no longer be provided. Thank you.”













University-focused music download service, Ruckus, has shut down. On February 6, visitors to the site encountered a posted message reporting that the site was undergoing an update. A short time later however, the site changed to display the following message: “Unfortunately the Ruckus service will no longer be provided. Thank you.” The shut down was so rapid, in fact, that Ruckus failed to notify some participating universities.

Originally started as a subsidized subscription service in 2004, Ruckus initially served 82 universities and colleges. In 2007, the service changed to an ad-supported, free service open to any user with a college email address. Students could also access movies and television shows for $15 per semester fee while university faculty and staff could access the program for a monthly subscription rate. Even with this shift, the service continued to struggle against its competition, especially since Ruckus only provided Windows Media DRM tracks that required monthly renewal. In addition, the tracks were not compatible with many mobile devices like iPod or Zune.

In 2008, a joint venture of Sony and UMG, TotalMusic, which has encountered recent difficulties of its own, purchased Ruckus. At the time of its shut down last week, Ruckus subscribers had access to a library of 3.2 million tracks.


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