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Listen.com Bags $25 Million, Snags Labels, Portals

Listen.com Monday announced it has lured three new investors, completed a $25 million private equity placement and added new record label and portal partners.

This round of funding for Listen.com, the Internet's comprehensive directory to downloadable music, was led by the Barksdale Group and included Hambrecht & Quist's investment arm Access Technology Partners, L.P. and Sony Music Entertainment. With this most recent round of funding, the three-month-old Listen.com has raised a total of $35 million.

"Listen.com has created the Internet's most comprehensive directory of legitimate digital music," commented Fred Ehrlich, president, New Technology and Business Development, Sony Music Entertainment. "The quality of that directory, together with great editorial content, have quickly made them a destination of choice for music lovers on the Web."

Other Listen.com investors, including Altos Venture, August Capital, Austin Venture, CNET Inc. (CNET) Chief Executive Officer Halsey Minor. Gateway Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ted Waitt also participated in this round of financing.

Listen.com's growing editorial staff has reviewed and categorized tens of thousands of artists with legal music on the Web. The directory links to more than 300 sites with downloadable music in all formats, and soon will be available at sites including Excite, Lycos, Macromedia and Snap.com. Listen.com also has inked partnerships with 14 Internet music companies and 7 independent record labels. These deals establish a collaborative process between Listen.com and its partners to ensure that their downloadable music is easy to find. Online partners include Amp3, Audio Explosion, CDuctive, Customdisc, encoding.com; Emusic.com, Epitonic, Guitar.com, IUMA, Liquid Audio, MP3.com (MPPP), Musicmaker.com, Riffage.com, Songs.com and Tunes.com.

Record labels partners include Artemis Records, BYO Records, Kill Rock Stars, Matador Records, Ng Records, Palm Pictures/Rykodisc and Razor & Tie.