Feeds

Playlist.com goes titsup

Lotsa money owed everywhere

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Labels both large and small, as well as songwriters' organisations, are owed millions after Playlist.com filed for bankruptcy.

Founded in 2006 as Project Playlist, the revenue-lite operation made widgets for social network sites as Facebook and MySpace, and in its heyday boasted almost 40 million users.

The largest amount, $16.6m, is owned to Universal Music; but independent network Merlin is also owed $1.68m, with songwriters' association ASCAP out of pocket by $377,323, according to Chapter 11 documents.

Playlist.com's content delivery network partner Limelight is owed over $800,000. Other major label debts include Warners ($4.143m) Sony ($3.15m) and EMI ($2.103m). Playlist has issued promissory notes for many of these creditors.

It's hard to see how the outfit could stumble along for so long, without credible revenue. The wheeze was to scrape music on the web wherever it could find it, and allow users to play it back through an embeddable widget. A sprinkling of fashionable Web2.0rhea was sprinkled on top. And that, er... was that. About a million other people happened to have the idea at the same time.

In 2008 several major labels sued Playlist, after which Universal granted it a licence. It was Universal that ushered Playlist.com into the bankruptcy court, arguing that Playlist defaulted on that licence almost immediately. Sony licensed the operation earlier this year.

The saga highlights the risk of investing precious money in music start-ups. The music business needs to experiment, but as in so many other areas, the internet is a basketcase for making money, with hobbyists and chancers using music as a quick way to draw a crowd. So to hedge the risk, companies insist on equity stakes in start-ups. Playlist raised $23m VC funding along the way. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.