The Latest On The Wind-Down Of Music Startup SeeqPod


Playable music search engine SeeqPod shut down last spring, then said it was in talks to sell itself to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), but has been quiet since. Curious where the deal stands, we contacted CEO Kasian Franks several weeks ago, who now tells us that eight months after the negotiations were first reported “SeeqPod’s technology assets are still going through the process of purchasing by (a) large media company.” He said that the unidentified company was negotiating for patents with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which developed some of SeeqPod’s technology.

As for Franks and some of his colleagues, he says they are now working on a new music search engine for a small search company called Mikojo. As of its latest SEC filing, the company had all of $7,061 in cash; Mikojo is traded over the counter. It makes money via an agreement with InfoSpace (NSDQ: INSP), which lets it use that company’s technology to power a general search engine on its site; it splits revenue generated via ads.

But Franks said that the company’s new search engine, which is still under development, will focus on music. Someone who searches for “Duran Duran,” for instance, will see general web results that mention the band’s name, along with links to the band’s videos, news, blogs, music stores, lyrics and merchandise, all on one page. There are links to sites on the web where the band’s tracks can be found, although they are not playable directly on the search engine.

That’s different from SeeqPod, which let users stream tracks directly on its site. The arrangement led to litigation with the music labels that ultimately forced SeeqPod to declare bankruptcy — and shut down, despite its popularity.

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