AOL buys into music with Spinner Networks
America Online has acquired Spinner Networks, provider of Internet music service Spinner.com; and Nullsoft, developer of Winamp, a branded MP3 player, and Shoutcast, an MP3 streaming audio system.
AOL said it will develop new audio applications. It will also develop music capabilities for AOL Anywhere devices and broadband initiatives. Combined, the all-stock deals are valued at $400 million. AOL is trying to compete with Rolling Stone Network of sites; music retailers, such as CDnow; and Viacom, which recently purchased online music service Imagine Radio.
CBS takes 35% stake in Switchboard
CBS Corp. last week agreed to take a 35% stake in directory site Switchboard, a subsidiary of Banyan Systems. Switchboard will change its name to CBS Switchboard and receive $135 million in promotion and branding for up to 10 years across CBS media properties, as well as its radio and outdoor subsidiary, Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
Creech appointed CEO of VitaminShoppe.com
Kathryn Creech, former senior VP-general manager of Hearst's HomeArts Network, was named president-CEO of VitaminShoppe.com, a new e-commerce unit of health products retailer Vitamin Shoppe Industries. Ms. Creech, who founded and developed HomeArts as an online women's community, will head VitaminShoppe.com's marketing and brand-building initiatives. She also will assume responsibility for adding new functions to the e-commerce site.
In other news
IXL Enterprises, Atlanta, made its public debut June 3, with shares jumping to a high of $24 from an opening price of $12 a share. The interactive shop sold 6 million shares, raising its outstanding share float to 63.6 million shares. The stock closed at $17.88 a share, giving iXL a stock market value of $1.1 billion. IXL's debut was relatively healthy, given the recent glut of Web IPOs and investors' somewhat waning interest in Internet offerings. . . . Tabacalera Cigars International today breaks its first banner ad campaign on Yahoo!'s site, part of a Father's Day promotion running through June 20. People can win an all-