×

Prexy ankles netcaster Soundbreak.com

Financial setbacks bring in Netco's Ryan as replacement

Soundbreak.com prexy and CEO Lisa Crane stepped down Wednesday, after the technology incubator that funds the company expressed dissatisfaction with the financial losses at the digital music company.

Crane will be replaced by Paul Ryan, who previously was chairman of the Netco.

Soundbreak netcasts DJs who interact with Netizens via e-mail and live chats as they play music. Last week, the Netco announced it had signed a deal with the RIAA to pay royalties each time the company used a song from a member label.

The Netco is majority-owned by Acacia Research Corp., which holds three out of five positions on the company’s board of directors. Ryan is also the chairman and CEO of Acacia.

Most of Acacia’s investments are in nuts-and-bolts technology ventures, including biochip developer CombiMatrix Corp. and Greenwich Information Tech-nologies LLC, which creates video and audio on-demand systems. Shares of Acacia closed up almost 7% at $28.25 on the Nasdaq Wednesday. Acacia’s one-year trading high was $59, reached in January.

“I look forward to working with the talented team at Soundbreak as they continue to grow their worldwide audience,” Ryan said in a statement. “Soundbreak is well funded and continues to execute on its business plan.”

Soundbreak has been a big drain on Acacia’s bottom line, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For the first six months of 2000, Soundbreak cost the incubator $9.4 million in operating expenses, with a note that “these costs may substantially increase in future periods.” Acacia’s total operating loss for the first six months of the year was $16.8 million.

Soundbreak has long said it was ramping up for an offering on the stock market. However, that buzz has been dampened since tech stocks starting taking a dive in April. In a recent interview, Crane addressed the cost of doing business on the Internet, especially in light of her company’s royalty deals with the RIAA, BMI, SESAC and ASCAP.

“Essentially they’re saying that because you’re on the Internet, you have to pay something that the radio stations don’t have to,” she said. “We’re doing this in part for budgeting reasons: If I wait, I’m going to be spending money on lawyers and time talking to them, and then I don’t know complete costs until I go to (all the rights organizations). But I know what my total costs are going to be with the RIAA deal.”

Crane joined Soundbreak in September 1999, prior to the company’s launch in February. Before joining Soundbreak, she was veepee of NBCi and general manager of NBC.com. She also is a vet of Universal Studios, where she ran UniversalStudios.com as veepee of the studio’s online division.

Crane was popular on the tech confab circuit, in part because of her status as one of a select few women to top a music-oriented dot-com. She is veepee of the Los Angeles Digital Coast Roundtable, and is on the board of advisors of eStar.com and Pulse Entertainment.

(Justin Oppelaar contributed to this article.)

More Digital

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • New AirTV Mini improves cord-cutting experience

    Dish’s AirTV Releases New Android TV Streaming Stick

    Dish’s AirTV subsidiary is releasing a new streaming device designed to combine over-the-air broadcast TV with the company’s Sling TV service and other streaming services. The new AirTV Mini streaming stick looks similar to a Fire TV stick, and is powered by Google’s Android TV software. The AirTV Mini stick is 4K-capable, allowing consumers to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Digital Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch Invests $20 Million in The Void, a Location-Based VR Startup

    James Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox, has invested $20 million in The Void, a startup specializing in location-based virtual reality (VR) experiences, Variety has confirmed. The funding comes through Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a holding company that Rupert Murdoch’s younger son established with $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of his stake in 21CF [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't

    Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't Just For TV Viewers

    Norah O’Donnell will make her “CBS Evening News” debut, of course, on TV. But that doesn’t mean CBS News isn’t mindful of the new ways in which news aficionados get their information in an era of smartphone alerts and viral tweets. When O’Donnell launches a new era at the venerable newscast this week, complete with [...]

  • Hernán

    Conquistador Series ‘Hernan’ Snagged by Azteca TV and History Channel Latin America

    In the wake of its streaming rights acquisition by Amazon Prime, epic series “Hernan” has sold to Mexican broadcaster Azteca and pan-regional pay TV network, The History Channel, which have jointly acquired the series for their respective platforms. Produced by Mexico’s Dopamine, a Salinas Group unit, and Spain’s Onza Entertainment, the eight-episode mega-series marks the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content