Listen.com, which on April 5th acquired TuneTo, gave 35 employees pink slips and severance packages on Wednesday, citing current market conditions and the arrival of 15 employees from TuneTo.
The company is only one of many in April to have let workers go due to a slowing dot-conomy. Challenger, Gray, & Christmans, a Chicago-based firm that has tracked Internet layoffs since 1999, says that dot-com companies released a record number-17,554-of employees in April alone. That’s an 84 percent increase from the previous month, in which 9,533 Internet workers were fired.
In the first four months of this year alone, more than 51,500 jobs have been trimmed from Internet companies. Since December 1999, the total number of dot-com layoffs in just more than 93,000.
Sean Garrett, a spokesperson for Listen.com says that the company has “plenty of money,” but must take steps to remain lean through the economic downturn in the tech sector. Listen plans to focus on developing subscription services for audio entertainment to wireless devices. Technology that was acquired with TuneTo will be used in a test of the company’s wireless subscription services slated to be launched in Japan later this year.
“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 continues.
According to Garrett, Listen believes 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.