Feeds

Playlist.com goes titsup

Lotsa money owed everywhere

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.