kudyba Posted June 16, 2001 Share Posted June 16, 2001 I'll preface my diatribe my saying that I did get in on their IPO but only sold HALF my shares thinking with my heart and not my head--breaking an Investment 101 rule of thumb--and thought I'd hold on to the rest and sell it a year or more later for AT LEAST the IPO price and all of that would be pure profit (since I paid the cap. gains on it last year). The first clue that something was awry should've been early on when we learned that Mr. Robertson was barely even a music fan but simply an entrepreneur who found that "mp3" was the second most popular search word in the search engines. But I chose to overlook that as I believed in what they were trying to do. For all intents and purposes, they gave artists/bands a chance to establish a FREE presence on the Net, with a place to post sound files, gig listings, lyrics, a gig calendar, guestbook, statistics, selling DAM CD's, and even a link to wherever you had a CD for sale. In other words, they gave us the tools to create a web site and make a little bit of extra money FOR FREE!!! No need to pay web masters who slopped up pages in Netscape Composer (hey that's where I started--I still have a Netscape 1.1 installation diskette)...And then they gave artists the opportunity to earn FREE money just by getting downloads, selling DAM CD's and getting on MP3.com radio stations. Not too freakin' bad! I really have to believe that the old "bait 'n' switch" scam wasn't something Mr. Robertson planned almost from the beginning. Establish a huge community by being first to market and worry about profits later. Classic 1999 Net thinking. Some where along the line he realized that in order to have any chance at boosting his stock price, he was going to have to start showing some revenues. For the first 2 years, more than 90% of their revenue came from banner advertising. That was Clue #2! Then came the digital locker, aka my.mp3.com, fiasco. Clue #3!!! But again I overlooked that and thought that the labels were just trying to squash an idea that they didn't create or own. Besides, what was the real harm of allowing users who purchased an artist's CD ability to simply stream the songs from that CD on anyone's computer provided you registered and used your own user name & password? For crying out loud it's a MP3!!! And on a computer with most likely crappy sounding speakers! OK maybe they should've asked permission or negotiated a percentage of the banner revenues for the service, but no label would've given it to them. So I thought it was simply David vs Goliath! Which leads to clue #4: their stock price kept tanking as did most other dot bombs. (Should I mention clue #4.5 that Sephora seemed to be there only advertiser?) And it only got worse as Mr. Robertson needed to generate revenue quicker. The message boards changed so that every reply to a thread forced another click, so obviously done to increase page views. P4P. Back the Band (ughh!) Then only getting earnings if you signed up for P4P. Then adding a ridiculous handling charge on DAM/Net CD's. Then lowering the amount shared each month. Then the LA Weekly article about bands being thrown out of the earnings participation for supposedly cheating. And finally, being sold to precisely one of the beasts that Mr. Robertson oh so professed to call dinosaurs. But boy do I wish I listened to Mr. David Hooper (of Indiebiz.com fame) when he told me the night before the IPO to dump ALL the shares whenever I made the call to sell--because we all assumed we'd be selling the next day anyway! It was quite exciting watching the stock explode out of the gates above $95 but when I started seeing the price go down within minutes, boy my fingers couldn't dial fast enough! Ahh what the heck. I'll keep my site up anyway. I'll hold on to the rest of the Vivendi/Universal shares I'll get. From one garbage company to another... http://www.mp3.com/beezoo http://www.mp3.com/arthurkill Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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