While Napster Inc.'s lawyers grapple with the site's increasing legal headaches, rivals are salivating at the prospect of gobbling up Napster users. A gaggle of opportunists - from obscure start-ups to major music labels - are building music-subscription services of their own to rival the model that Napster plans to launch in July.
Stories by Hane C. Lee
Marking its first acquisition, online music directory Listen.com has agreed to buy WiredPlanet, a provider of customizable streaming MP3 stations.
He outwitted, outplayed and outlasted his rivals, but Survivor winner Richard Hatch wasn't the favored bet. Visitors to CBS Corp.'s Survivor Web site predicted nearly five to one that Rudy, the 72-year-old retired Navy Seal, would go home with the million bucks.
Last month, internet content aggregator and distributor Screaming Media went public, raising US$60 million. In a rocky market, this rare completion of a content-related IPO raises the question: Is content king again? "Whether it is or it isn't, there's an enormous demand for it," says Andrew Ross, executive VP at Salon.com. "And there's even some willingness to pay for some of it."
In a move that underscores its transformation from a software maker into a media company, RealNetworks Inc. has launched a subscription service.
Two weeks after beating analyst estimates in its second-quarter earnings report, NBCi has laid off about 170 employees, or 20 percent of its staff, according to sources within the company.
AltaVista Co. has taken the wraps off an extensive entertainment search center in hopes of drawing what has proven to be an enormous audience for online music and video.
Napster Inc.'s been given a little breathing room.
Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. is putting things into your hands. And it's not alone. Starting Friday, a service called Local Intelligence will give users mobile access to TMCS' content and ticketing capabilities. The company already distributes CitySearch reviews and profiles to handheld devices, but Local Intelligence adds a transaction function to the mix.
Call it the curse of AltaVista Co.: The company's IPO (initial public offering) aspirations have been thwarted again.