By Richard Menta- 1/04/01
Last September as the dot-com shakeout started to take hold, Musicmaker.com laid off 30 percent of its staff. Citing a "period of rapid change and uncertainty" for the online music industry, the company has announced it will fold.
In a unanimous vote, the company's board of directors decided that the best course of action was to liquidate the company's assets and return what was left to the investors. In a short statement Musicmaker said it "believes that distributing the company's net assets will return the greatest value to stockholders". The next step is to submit the plan to the stockholder for approval.
Musicmaker.com shares rose 34 percent on the news to $3.95.
In related news, Listen.com is cutting 42 jobs or 25 percent of its staff. The privately held company has investment from all five major recording companies to sell music files licensed from the music industry.
Blaming the success of fellow Net entity Napster for its woes, the cost cutting is to help the company weather the dot-com doldrums and is reflective of a shift in the companies focus to license its music catalog and provide more of an editorial service with regards to song selection.
"We can't provide as complete a directory as Napster". says Listen spokesperson Sean Garrett. "You can find almost anything through Napster. But what we can do is help you find the best of what's out there. Let's say you can find most of Tom Petty's catalog using Napster. Our editorial staff will help consumers find the best six or seven Tom Petty tracks."
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