Dedicated fans of Japanese music of all forms know about HearJapan in one way or another, whether it be through their sponsorship of concerts by select Japanese bands and musicians when performing in the US or by their dedication to carrying the latest Vocaloid tracks from Japan.
The portal which began in 2007 as an alternative to illegal file sharing with full support from the Japanese recording industry was considered one of the best ways to get the latest music from Japan without relying on sketchy uploads or having a friend in Japan. Unfortunately, the days are numbered for the portal as the president of the label, Nathan Reaven filed this update on the recently relaunched site:
It is with deep sadness that I announce that HearJapan will be closing down the website, HearJapan.com on June 30th. HearJapan launched a new version of the site that was over 2 years in the making. Unfortunately there were many unanticipated costs in doing this that made HearJapan impossible to manage.
I thank everyone who has come to HearJapan and purchased music from us over the years. I hope that you were able to discover some amazing new music and had a good time in the process. We wanted to share so much more with you, but unfortunately with the limited resources that we have, we must shut down.
We have been trying to sell the site to some other companies. If a deal can be made, you will see HearJapan continue on in a hopefully new and improved form.
Until June 30th, users will still be able to make purchases and download music. If there was something that you were thinking of buying, please do so before it is too late.
Thank you for this long ride and sorry it had to end like this.
Speaking for myself, I'm going to feel this loss pretty hard since I loved HearJapan's selection of Vocaloid tracks and it was one of the few sites that sold them in English without any DRM. Looks like there won't be much of an alternative left unless you like iTunes, and it seems a lot of record companies are heading that way as well. HearJapan will definitely be missed by me.
Anyone else shocked by this news?