EMusic.com to lay off 20 percent of staff

The online music retailer says it will lay off 20 percent of its work force as a cost-saving measure, leaving the company with 180 employees.

Evan Hansen Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Department Editor Evan Hansen runs the Media section at CNET News.com. Before joining CNET he reported on business, technology and the law at American Lawyer Media.
Evan Hansen
Online music retailer EMusic.com today said it will lay off 20 percent of its work force as a cost-saving measure.

The company said the layoffs and other measures will save it $15 million during the next year.

"While the market for downloadable music is poised for tremendous growth, we recognize the need to manage our expenses wisely and aggressively," said Gene Hoffman, EMusic CEO.

EMusic reported revenues of $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2000, up from $210,000 for the same period a year earlier, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of March 31, the company had $46.9 million in cash, with net cash outflows of about $5 million to $6 million a month.

EMusic joins a growing list of dot-com companies that have been forced to cut employees in a bid to stay alive. An increasing number also have had to close their doors.

Online distance-learning and training company Learn2.com today also said it laid off 47 workers--16 percent of its work force--to streamline its operations. Also this week, online video and DVD retailer Reel.com laid off its entire staff of 200 employees.

EMusic launched in 1998, one of the first companies to sell music downloads. The company charges 99 cents for most singles on its Web site. The company has 180 employees after today's layoffs.