The Jewish music label JDub Records announced on July 12 that it would close under financial pressure.
In a press release, the organization cited the decline of the music business and the recession as the reasons for its decision to shut its doors. “The decision to close was entirely financial, as the challenges facing our business model are too great to overcome,” the release read.
Founded in 2002, the organization launched the career of Matisyahu, a Hasidic reggae artist who was later signed to mainstream label Epic Records. Other artists represented by the organization included the Israeli Gypsy punk trio Balkan Beat Box and SoCalled, a rapper who incorporates klezmer sounds into his music.
JDub was among the original recipients of funds from the Joshua Venture Group, an initiative intended to foster Jewish social entrepreneurs and their initiatives. Another early Joshua Venture alumnus includes Heeb Magazine, which recently shuttered its print edition.
JDub’s press release stated that the organization had relied on album sales and concert tickets for half of its revenue, and that the shifting realities of the music rendered that income elusive. The release also laid blame on the recession, and on the organization “aging out of the cohort of Jewish ‘start-ups.’”
Together, those factors “made securing the necessary operating support an insurmountable challenge,” according to JDub.
The release did not speak directly to the future of Jewcy.com, a Jewish news and culture website geared towards young people; JDub brought the site under its auspices in 2009. But the organization said it would “seek appropriate homes for our successful programs and assets.”