The New MP3.com Levels the Playing Field for Indie Artists

MP3.com LogoAs far back as I can remember, as long as there has been Napster, there has been an MP3.com. Like the chicken and the egg, I don’t know which came first though. In any case, on Monday November 13, 2006, MP3.com released new features that levels the playing field between mainstream artists and upcoming indie artists.

These new features include web applications that allow these indie artists and mainstream artists to store music and upload videos, photos, and a biography. MP3.com has also added audio players that utilize Adobe Flash technology with playlist capabilities and has even included 100MB of storage for users as well.

This new commitment towards leveling the playing field for these indie artists is a sign that MP3.com is preparing themselves to take on other web music competitors such as Yahoo! Music. “We want to promote music from mainstream artists and give maximum exposure to independent artists who deserve to be heard and discovered,” stated Laura Hess, an MP3.com director.

Although MP3.com themselves do not sell the music, MP3.com execs believe that there is a tremendous advertising opportunity for these new features. “We’ll get more advertising to site with more traffic, which enables us to offer everything for free,” Ms. Hess continued. If a user is interested in purchasing music that they hear, MP3.com refers them to music downloading websites such as Napster, iTunes, and Rhapsody.

Quick History of MP3.com:
1998 – MP3.com was originally owned by Martin Paul, who purchased it to match his initials. Shortly after, MP3.com was bought by Michael Robertson for $1,000 from Martin Paul. Robertson then attained a $11 million investment by Sequoia Capital. Robertson added a large collection of MP3s that attracted copyright infringement lawsuits courtesy of five major music labels and the RIAA.
1999 - MP3.com went public and raised $370 million
2000 - In the case of UMG vs. MP3.com, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled in favor of the record labels and MP3.com forked over $200 million to these labels and shut down their services.
2001 – Universal Music Group’s parent company, Vivendi Universal Music acquired MP3.com for $372 million in cash and stock.
2003 – Unable to recover MP3.com’s popularity, Vivendi then dismantled the website and sold it to CNET Networks Inc. CNET put MP3.com under construction for some time.
2006
- MP3.com is now fully legal and open for business from small- to large-sized clients.
[Source: Wikipedia]

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