Yahoo! Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to acquire online music service
in a cash deal valued at US$160 million. It’s Yahoo’s maneuver to become a player in the online digital music download world, currently dominated by Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store, and populated by a variety of other competitors including Napster, Microsoft’s MSN Music, Wal-Mart and others.
Musicmatch has had a steady presence in the PC market since debuting in 1997. Its Jukebox software was, prior to iTunes’ Windows introduction in October, 2003, bundled with Apple’s own iPod music player. The service also boasts the online Musicmatch Radio network, which streams more than 900,000 songs over more than 200 different stations, and a download service that offers more than 700,000 tracks. Musicmatch also offers an On Demand streaming music subscription service. The transaction is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval. Yahoo! Inc. hopes to complete the deal during the fourth calendar quarter of 2004.