Warner Bros has been unveiled as the party pursuing a deal for music sharing site Playlists.net, and a purchase has now been completed.
The online playlist library allows approximately one million users per month to create and share playlists over the web. Such sites have benefited from a recent change in industry law which allows online streaming to count towards the official UK music charts.
Speculation surrounded the future of the Spotify-linked site after rumours in July signalled interest from an unnamed yet prominent member of the music industry. Three months later, Playlists.net founder and CEO Kieron Donoghue has stepped forward to announce a completed deal with Warner Music Group, for its WEA label, but chose against disclosing any of its terms.
Grounding in affiliate
Starting out in 2009, the company’s initial plans for growth received backing to the tune of £600,000 from private investors. Many of the early contributors were involved in the creation of affiliate marketing network buy.at, which was purchased by AOL in 2008 and sold to Digital Window just two years later.
The firm already owned UK affiliate network Affiliate Window and retired the buy.at operation following the launch of Affiliate Window in the US.
As for Playlists.net, the site claims that its bank of around 150,000 playlists is the biggest database of collections for use with Spotify, which itself has over 40 million active users.
The company rebranded from ShareMyPlaylists to its current title in June 2013 after seeing evidence of users visiting the site to search for as well as share new music. Part of this move also spawned an official app on Spotify and a number of new features, allowing users to rate their playlists and search for new tracks to fit their mood.
In a statement following the acquisition, Donoghue said that a complete buyout was not the original intention for the talks.
“We were approached by WEA earlier in the year to discuss ways in which we could collaborate and it became apparent that there was much to be gained by us joining forces.”
Frequent users of Playlists.net may have obvious concerns regarding the future of their site as a single entity. Backing from WEA could also see tracks from the label gain priority status on the Playlists.net homepage, helping its artists gain the plays they need to have an impact on the British charts.
However, Donoghue has been quick to quell any doubts concerning immediate changes to the company.
“What’s really exciting is that WEA have committed to support Playlists.net as an independent platform, invest in its future and grow the team to take advantage of new opportunities in the streaming ecosystem,” he concluded.