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Loudeye Taps New President

Digital media distributor Loudeye Technologies Inc. has named company executive David Weld to be its president and chief operating officer. Weld will oversee day-to-day operations at the Seattle firm.

Weld was promoted from senior vice president and general manager of Loudeye's digital media services group. He will report to CEO John T. Baker, who also previously held the president title. He will be freed up to focus on strategic alliances, acquisitions and other external business functions.

According to Loudeye, Weld's appointment is in line with the company's recent expansion into new product lines and reflects "the natural evolution of its management team and organization."

"David Weld is a seasoned operating executive with a solid track record in managing high growth technology companies," said Baker. "His promotion will allow me to be more externally focused where I expect to spend more time with customers, partners and other parties vital to the future growth of the company."

The promotion of Weld to president and COO comes at a time when Loudeye is signing some high profile distribution deals with an eye on improving earnings.

In June, Loudeye signed one of its highest profile deals to date, a multi-year deal with Napster to generate digital signatures for a music catalog of more than 2 million tracks.

On the earnings front, the company last month reported a second quarter net loss of $7.3 million (18 cents per share) before charges, on revenues of $2.7 million. Including charges, the loss was $10.4 million.

Founded in 1997, Loudeye initially helped media companies transform their analog content into a digital format. As media firms sought more infrastructure services to deliver their content, Loudeye got into the ASP business.

Most recently the company has formed agreements with leaders in the music industry, including BMG Music, EMI, Sony and Universal Music Group, to supply their music samples to online customers including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

In April, Loudeye agreed to provide AOL with music samples, music catalog encoding and other services, all to support digital music content on AOL properties including AOL Music's Spinner.com, an Internet radio service.

Loudeye has acquired three companies in recent months including theDial, a Seattle company that creates and syndicates original, online radio programming.

The company has also slashed costs, earlier this year cutting its 300-person workforce nearly in half and consolidating its Seattle-area operations from four facilities to one.

Weld previously was a founder and the CEO of Alive.com, where he led the technology developer of one of the first multimedia ASP platforms. Loudeye acquired Alive.com in 1999.