Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sonific, R.I.P. (?)

Visitors to this site may have noticed the Sonific widget, and might have even clicked on it to listen to a track from the album of a friend's band. No more, alas.

Sonific, for those who don't know, provided widgets that allowed bloggers and others to embed free fully-licensed music into their sites, announced they are shutting down today due to a licensing dispute with the music industry's major labels. Sonific's idea was to partner with labels to build a market for music and provide links to label sites where users could make purchases.

Although Sonific had deals with a number of independent labels, the music industry majors didn't want a partnership, and instead wanted Sonific to pay full price for everything as well as to give them equity in Sonific. So Sonific CEO Gerd Leonhard has shut down the service and they are considering their future options.

Sonific essentially provided viral advertising for music labels in tens of thousands of blogs, social network profiles, and other sites. The major labels again missed a chance to provide legal access to their wares in the online world.

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