San Francisco-based Listen.com has announced that it has acquired TuneTo.com Inc., a smaller start-up with an unusual technology for broadcasting sound over the Internet. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed because both are closely held private companies.
“TuneTo gives us next-generation streaming technology,” said Sean Garrett, a Listen.com company spokesman. “TuneTo has a really cool technology that allows you to hear near-CD-quality streaming at a very low bit rate. What we find more interesting is that we can also offer CD-quality streaming to next-generation wireless devices that will have streaming applications on them.” Garrett goes on to say that Listen had looked at dozens of streaming technologies and found that “TuneTo was really the best.”
Listen feels that streaming is the market that will first begin to see profit from subscription music services, largely because the licensing issues will be more easy to manage with streaming than with downloadable tracks. “We think that you’ll be able to get a full catalog faster with streaming. And if you have CD-quality streaming, we think that people will be very happy with that.”
The acquisition of TuneTo is not the first time Listen has bought technology that helped to enhance the company’s offering. In fall 2000, Listen.com purchased Wired Planet, giving Listen.com a robust streaming radio capability.