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Loudeye soars in debut

Loudeye Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: LOUD), whose applications simplify the delivery of video and audio to the Web, jumped 26 to 42 in debut after it priced shares at $16 each for trading Wednesday.

Shares priced above the estimated range of $13 to $15 a share, which had been raised from an original $8 to $10 range.

Aside from the 4.5 million shares offered to the public, Loudeye also expects to net about $5 million from the sale of 384,025 shares to Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) in a private placement.

The IPO, underwritten by Robertson Stephens, Chase H&Q and CIBC World Markets, will leave about 34.6 million shares of common stock outstanding after the IPO.

Loudeye's customers include EMusic.com (Nasdaq: EMUS), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP), Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT), Sony Music Entertainment, Atom Films, BMG Music, and Disney Enterprises, Inc.,

As with most companies going public, Loudeye's losses outweigh revenue. For the year ended December 31, the company had a net loss of $10.9 million on revenue of $2.6 million, as opposed to a loss of $1.7 million on revenue of 286 000 in 1998.

Loudeye said it competes with a small number of companies providing outsourced encoding applications, such as Globix (Nasdaq: GBIX), Magnum Design and Sonic Foundry (AMEX: SFO).

As the market for outsourced encoding services continues to grow, it expects to see competition from turn-key streaming media network providers such as InterVU, V-Stream and Yahoo! Broadcast Services (Nasdaq: YHOO); streaming media platform developers such as Apple (Nasdaq: APPL), Liquid Audio (Nasdaq: LQID), Microsoft and RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) and from video post-production houses. Other companies developing Internet media applications that may compete with Loudeye include Audiosoft, AudioTrack, InterTrust (Nasdaq: ITRU), Versifi and Vignette (Nasdaq: VIGN).