www.com Forms European Venture with Carlton

[May 25] Music Application Service Provider (ASP)
WWW.COM has formed
a European joint venture with Carlton Communications,
the U.K’s largest independent television broadcaster.


As part of the deal, Carlton will put a total
of $25.6 million into WWW.COM, of which $11.6
million in cash will go to the Los Angeles-based
parent company. $14 million will go directly into
creating WWW.COM EUROPE.


The substantial investment earns Carlton a seat
on WWW.COM’s Board of Directors.


The two firms are clearly working closely together,
as another aspect of the deal is for WWW.COM’s subsidiary
CODEC.COM to provide encoding services, storage and
streaming of Carlton’s extensive audio assets and
film library.


Scott Purcell, president and founder of WWW.COM, said
he and his team had built WWW.COM into the world’s
largest music ASP and second most popular radio site.


“With Carlton’s access to mass audiences, knowledge
of the U.K. entertainment market, and understanding
of the rapidly developing Internet market, they are
the right partner to expand WWW.COM overseas and
allow us to continue building a true global brand,”
said Purcell.


Michael Green, chairman of Carlton Communications,
described WWW.COM as being a ‘category killer’ in
online music. He said it would be a tremendous
addition to Carlton’s entertainment portal, carlton.com.


In December last year, Carlton formed a joint venture
called @lliance with top French TV broadcaster
TF1 to acquire and develop Internet businesses in
Europe. It, too, will have the opportunity to
take part in WWW.COM EUROPE, according to reports.


WWW.COM protects co-branded music sites from
litigation by operating under signed copyright
agreements which ensure artists get paid. It
currently broadcasts over 230 originally-programmed
stations.

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