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ArtistDirect Purchases MediaDefender
August 1, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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It has been said the dot com marketplace is on the rebound after suffering its great collapse during the turn of the century. Whether there was really ever a "dot com" bust is another matter, as many claim the bankruptcies and other financial failures associated with the "dot coms" was largely media hype. The fact remains there is a ton of money to be made online and few know this better than online music distributors.

One of the big "dot com" winners in recent years belongs to the commercial P2P market and of course the anti-P2P market. Grokster, StreamCast, Sharman Networks - all have become rich companies with enough cash to defend themselves in court against the music industry.

Anti-P2P companies have also benefited in recent years. Apple (iTunes), Roxio (Napster) and Rhapsody have all created successful authorized music distribution services. In addition, companies such as OverPeer, MediaSentry and MediaDefender have also found themselves useful to the Recording Industry Association of America. Although each company has their their own unique nuances, all three flood various P2P networks in an attempt to stem the usage of these communities.

Their efforts are largely responsible for false files that have crippled the FastTrack network.

ArtistDirect has also made a name for itself in recent years, nudging out a spot in the ever-growing "legitimate" music distribution niche. ArtistDirect is an online music retailer, which as pulled itself out of financial mediocrity as of late. In March 2005, AristDirect stock was selling for less than a half a cent; today it opened at over $3.00 a share. Still, ArtistDirect is significantly lower than 2000, when it sold for over $30.00 a share.

Trying to capitalize on its hopeful future, ArtistDirect has purchased the copyright guardian, MediaDefender. The merger should prove to be an interesting one, as it is the first time an authorized music distributor is also directly in control of a P2P flooding firm. MediaDefender, headed by the outspoken front man Randy Saaf, appears to have a knowledgeable foundation on the difficult plight of the music industry. Its also a pretty good sales pitch.

“Legislation, litigation, education and digital rights management have all had a limited success in containing the rapid spread of Internet digital piracy, which does not appear to be going away anytime soon. As the first-mover and leading provider of Internet anti-piracy solutions, MediaDefender plays a critical role in curbing illegal downloads while enabling the increased distribution of digitized content through legitimate means. We look forward to working with ARTISTdirect's outstanding management team to move this technology to the next level and to realize the full potential of our combined vision for long-term growth and success."

Randy Saaf will remain as MediaDefender’s CEO during and after the transition.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Other

You can read the press release here.

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