The site's launch comes as other online heavyweights such as America Online and Yahoo take steps to capture the growing market for online music. Traditional media companies, most notably Viacom, also are making aggressive moves into the Net music market. Viacom-owned MTV today will formally unveil updated versions of its music portals VH1.com, MTV.com and SonicNet.com.
Smaller Web players also have taken the stage. MP3.com, EMusic and RioPort have developed into Web destinations for downloading music files encoded in the MP3 format.
With Lycos Music, the company will incorporate numerous Lycos features, including its MP3 searchable database, the Lycos Radio Network, and the recently acquired Sonique audio player. In addition, the site will include online music communities, chat rooms, music purchasing capabilities and music-related content such as news and reviews.
The service will be based in San Francisco.
"Lycos Music's mission is to offer the Web's most comprehensive set of music services, intended for both the music fan and the artist," Ron Sege, executive vice president of Lycos, said in a statement.
The site will feature content from numerous editorial partners, including RollingStone.com, Reuters, Billboard Charts, Westwind Media and DMX.
Lycos also will include its Web home page builder Angelfire on the new site. Lycos Music will allow music fans and aspiring artists to create their own home pages with typical Web features, such as music discussion groups, community builders and chat rooms.
The site will also include a feature called the Listening Room, a download site for new music. The service enables musicians to post songs online and track their download performance.
"The Listening Room serves the needs of all musicians interested in distributing their music online, and we're excited to help these musicians gain exposure in today's fast-growing online music market," Sege added in the statement.
Listening Room is produced by Fast, which also powers Lycos' MP3 search database.