In April of 1999, I left Microsoft, 1 year and 1 day from when I joined. I had the bug to create something new with online radio. Todd Beaupre and I were shoved in a conference room in Santa Monica. Six months later, we introduced the world to LAUNCHcast, the customized and social online radio service.
I learned a hell of a lot from my years at LAUNCH and I never worked harder. LAUNCHcast built up quite a following, especially after we were bought by Yahoo!.
From literally day one of the service, the music industry tried to kill LAUNCHcast. I went to court to defend it. Well, they finally won by raising the rates services like LAUNCHcast pay to play music to an amount that makes no financial sense. Every online radio site will now lose money. As a result, Yahoo!, decided to get out of online radio, instead sending users off to CBS Radio. There will no longer be any customized radio.
Nice job, music industry. Instead of collecting money from these services, you’ve shut down any chance of revenue. Nobody buys CDs anymore and Apple is in control of all your music distribution. Way to go.
Farewell, LAUNCHcast. You introduced me to so much music and many friends along the way.