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Loudeye looks for volume with deal

The digital media company buys Webcasting services provider Streampipe in a move that should bump up Loudeye's bid to nab a bigger part of the corporate streaming market.

Digital media company Loudeye Technologies said Wednesday it has acquired Streampipe, a privately held provider of live and on-demand Webcasts for corporations and government agencies.

Streampipe is the brand name of Technology Education Network, a subsidiary of TT Holdings. Loudeye said it traded 7.9 million shares of unregistered common stock and a $1.1 million secured note for all of the outstanding shares of the parent company, which has offices in Ardsley, N.Y., and Washington, D.C.

Loudeye is best known for its digital music services, having struck deals with the major record labels to encode music for online promotions and burgeoning commercial services. Following an ill-timed foray into Web radio services late last year, it has begun to stake out a presence in corporate Webcasting services.

Companies are turning to Webcasting to push training videos and materials to employees, while many public companies now stream audio broadcasts of quarterly earnings calls. By 2006, 80 percent of Global 2000 enterprises will use streaming media for internal communications and training, according to a recent Gartner study.

"We expect widespread adoption of Webcasting as a mainstream tool for corporate communications in the months ahead and that this transaction will position us as the clear market leader for these services," former Streampipe chairman James R. Kuster said in a statement. Kuster, a former executive with defunct digital rights management start-up Reciprocal, will take a seat on Loudeye?s board of directors as part of Wednesday's deal.

Loudeye's rivals in this market include Yahoo, which offers corporate Webcasting services through its Yahoo Broadcast division. A raft of smaller players, such as Vital Stream and ON24, have also cropped up offering tailored Webcasting services.

Wednesday's deal is the latest in a string of technology acquisitions by Seattle-based Loudeye, which earlier this year snapped up privately held Digital Media Broadcast, as well as real-time data-streaming technology from Wonderhorse.