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MP3.com: No Longer Singing the Blues

Something is absolutely clear about MP3.com : The company has an incredible amount of confidence. Crippling lawsuits? No problem. A tough advertising market? No problem. In fact, during the past few weeks, the stock has been surging - as other dot-coms continue to plunge.

Of course, a big plus was the settlement with Universal Music Group, amounting to about $53.4 million (Universal gets 3 million warrants to buy MP3.com stock). With this, MP3.com has licensing deals with the five main record labels.

With legal clarity, MP3.com can focus on its core business. Perhaps this is why the company was able to strike a deal with David Bowie. Basically, he is the first major label artist to allow fans to access his catalog on My.MP3.com.

No doubt, MP3.com is showing tremendous strength. In the past quarter, net revenues were $20.5 million, which was a 405 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Losses were manageable at $6.1 million.

Other milestones include: more than 100,000 approved artists; 647,700 songs and audio files; estimated quarterly page views of 418 million (up from 411 million in the prior quarter); and 103 million listens in the prior quarter.

MP3.com has also been savvy with new lines of business. There is, for example, the Retail Music Program. This service allows retail stores to better manage their music needs, handling such things as messaging, advertising and of course, customization of the music selections. The model is based on subscription payments.

Next, MP3.com has a syndicated radio program. With this, radio stations can select and manage music content from their Web sites. Features include: event calendars, e-commerce and charts.

MP3.com has also shown success internationally. With minimal marketing, the company has captured the #7 most trafficked entertainment site in Europe. In fact, about 20% of MP3.com artists are from Europe.

The vision of MP3.com is to build the underlying infrastructure for online music. For the most part, it is in place. Now, the company is ready to, well, rock 'n roll.