Coin to go towards wireless development
Digital music companies Beatnik and MyPlay both landed financing north of the $15 million mark on Thursday as the Netcos said the infusion of cash would be used to jump-start wireless initiatives.Beatnik, a technology company that licenses its proprietary audio engine to Web sites and digital devices, received $30 million in funding from the likes of the MTVi Group, Sun Microsystems and Pacific Century CyberWorks. “Strategic investments from these key firms will be used to support Beatnik’s implementation of a technology platform to deliver interactive audio to the Web, cell phones, set-top boxes and Sun’s Java technology,” said Lorraine Hariton, Beatnik’s prexy and CEO. Beatnik’s connection Beatnik has a long-standing relationship with the MTVi Group, the network of Web sites that includes MTV.com, VH1.com and Sonicnet.com. Technology provided by Beatnik allows Netizens at these sites to customize background music as they surf and remix popular songs and e-mail the results to others. Beatnik was founded by musician and composer Thomas Dolby Robertson. Redwood City-based MyPlay closed an $18 million investment round, led by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures. Like Beatnik, the funding will be used to further develop support for wireless devices and broadband applications. “MyPlay will become a core component of the new marketing and distribution structure of the music and entertainment industries as we expand on multiple delivery platforms including wireless, cable and handheld devices,” said Jon Diamond, MyPlay’s chairman of the board. MyPlay launched in October 1999 and offers users an online “music locker” to store tunes.