HITS Daily Double
"I’m a little young to be a Beatles fan, but you would find Wings’ 'Greatest Hits' in my album list."
—Michael Robertson, CEO MP3.com


Robertson Addresses McCartney Suit In Letter, Becomes Shareholder In Wireless Venture
April 3, 2000

In his daily "Michael's Minute" soapbox on MP3.com, company chieftain Michael Robertson Friday (3/31) delivered "An Open Letter to Paul McCartney," addressing the suit by the Cute Beatle's publishing company, MPL, against the controversial online music service.

In addition to trying to allay the musician's fears about the contested "MyMP3.com" service, Robertson makes reference in the letter to the company's wireless plans, which include a recently announced shareholding deal with wireless multimedia software developer PacketVideo Corporation.

In the letter to McCartney, Robertson writes, "I wanted to drop you a note explaining what we're doing because my suspicion is that you're not involved" in the lawsuit. He explains MyMP3.com's technology, which allows users to "beam" their CDs to an online locker and stream the music from anywhere, and also to instantly hear music from CDs purchased from the company's e-tailing affiliates.

Robertson underlines the royalties publishers make from these transactions, which he claims are increased by the instant-gratification features.

But the kicker comes later in the message, when he notes, parenthetically: "I'm a little young to be a Beatles fan, but you would find Wings' 'Greatest Hits' in my album list."

No word from Sir Paul on that one.

Robertson also promises that the "space-shifting" features offered by the company will stream music "in your car, digital Walkman or even your cell phone, but we've got some work to do before we get there."

Such work was evident in MP3.com's announcement that it had become a shareholder in PacketVideo, which claims to develop "software that enables the delivery, management and viewing of full-motion video and audio over wireless networks on mobile information devices including Internet-enabled cellular telephones, handheld devices, wireless personal digital assistants and laptop computers."

Packet had announced a collaboration on 3/27 with DSP giant Texas Instruments on the delivery of video and audio "to wireless personal digital assistants and laptop computers, bringing movie previews, news briefs, traffic reports and product purchasing information to consumers."

Packet filed IPO papers on 3/15. Rumors that Wings member Denny Laine got friends-and-family stock participation haven't been confirmed.