Coming off a healthy initial public offering, MP3.com, which hosts tracks by more than 31,000 artists, is beefing up its partnerships to keep a grip on its position in the thriving Net music arena, which includes Myplay, RioPort, and EMusic, companies that allow users to play, store, or buy digital music tracks.
This month MP3.com also will launch MP3radio.com, a network of music portal sites that it will build with Cox Interactive Media.
The marketing partnership between MP3.com with Listen.com is just the latest in a series of similar deals for both companies. Reminiscent of the way Yahoo and America Online built their businesses through premier placement and cross-marketing deals, the music sites will display references to each other and their respective directories.
Links to MP3.com's artist pages, for example, will get prime positioning on Listen.com's syndication sites, including Excite, Lycos, and Shockwave.com. Listen.com will generate more reviews of artists featured on MP3.com.
"Our affiliation with Listen.com exposes MP3.com's talented artists to more consumers and gives fans the opportunity to experience insightful reviews and editorials on their favorite music," Michael Robertson, chief executive of MP3.com, said in a statement.
Although Listen.com will get a cut of the sales it generates for MP3.com, the company contends that the deal will not influence its reviews.
"Our editorial team is not for sale," said Sean Garrett, a spokesman for Listen.com. "We don't give positive or negative reviews--we're about giving a description of the music. We think if you trust Listen.com, you'll keep coming back to us."