Madison-based Murfie unexpectedly shuts down music operation

A local music business, Murfie, stunned subscribers over the weekend by announcing that it ceased operations after eight years.

Originally founded in 2011 by Preston Austin and Matt Younkle, Murfie was designed as a subscription music service that allowed members to store their physical music libraries off-site and then have their music digitized to the cloud where it could be swapped, sold, or streamed.

Austin left the business in 2016 to form Rabble, another music-based business. That same year, Chris Wheeler replaced Younkle as CEO and the company moved to a larger space in Middleton where it could accommodate its growing music library. Rex Mangat, the most recent CEO, left in September, citing issues with the company’s board of directors.

According to a story, subscribers who sent their albums and CDs to Murfie will get their music returned … eventually.