Home E-City Loudeye Gets LOUDer

Loudeye Gets LOUDer

By Soula Jones
3.31.2000″Party with Us in a Shower of Golden Glitz,” said the official invite to Loudeye Technologies‘ IPO bash on March 30. Hmm…have the words “golden” and “shower” ever appeared in the same business-generated sentence? But Loudeye (NASDAQ: LOUD) always does like to push the envelope. Arguably, it is our most-stylin’ local Internet company.
And Loudeye will be relying heavily on the music and film industries to make money. It takes music and film (in digital or analogue form) and gets it ready to “broadcast” over the Internet. It’s a production house, if you will, with major backing from major Internet (AOL and Microsoft) and entertainment giants.
At the I-Spy club on Fifth Ave., projectors beamed “Loudeye” outside and James Bond and Bruce Lee flicks inside. There was a line to get in, bouncers with black T-shirts and headsets. People in gold body paint, biker boots and gold lame roamed the crowd, pausing occasionally on a lighted edge upstairs to strike uh…revealing poses. Three bands–Basement Jaxx (grunge), Pink Martini (salsa) and Super Diamond (Neal Diamond covers)–played to a buzzed, enthralled audience, some of whom may have been conceived to the latter songs.
“This is the beginning of some serious, difficult work,” a Loudeyeian exec in her mid-30s told us. “We will need to be very responsive to our customers to succeed.”
Meanwhile, a much younger Loudeyeian with flexed biceps yelled, “We’re going to kick some ass! We’re going to send the competition home crying, baby. Just watch us!”
Waiting in line for a gin-and-tonic, a nicely dressed, seemingly out of place older woman commented, “I don’t want to think about it tonight; tomorrow I’ll think about it.”
It’s a good thing Loudeye didn’t host its party in Madrona, the Seattle neighborhood where it first set up shop (it still maintains an office there), and where CEO Martin Tobias lives. Madrona, which bills itself as the “Peaceable Kingdome” has been all over Loudeye for hogging parking spaces. But Tobias et al. have refused to cave in. Actually, Loudeye’s presence has helped maintain some of the former quirkiness of this quickly gentrifying area, once home to the Black Panthers. Which brings us to the reason we love and hate Loudeye. They’ve got spunk. But they’re kind of full of themselves.

Soula Jones is Content Chief at Seattle24x7.com

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