May 20, 2005, 12:00 AM

Venture capital firm buys digital music content provider Muze

Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, a firm with ties to classical music products, has acquired Muze to capitalize on the growing demand for digital music information delivery services, Enterprise Partners managing director Bill Stensrud says.

Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, a firm with ties to classical music products, has acquired Muze Inc. to capitalize on the growing demand for digital music information delivery services, Enterprise Partners managing director Bill Stensrud says. Purchase price and terms were not disclosed.

“As music and video move to a real-time, online delivery model, you can imagine the challenge of cataloging all this information,” Stensrud tells InternetRetailer.com.

Muze currently provides Internet-based information on recorded music and artists to hundreds of retailers that range from small, niche merchants to major multi-channel and pure-play online retailers like Borders Books, Best Buy and Overstock.com.

"Over the past 15 years, Muze has painstakingly developed a world-class library of meta-data that covers the entire range of entertainment content," says Stensrud, who will serve as chairman of Muze`s board. "As the acquisition of digital media content has exploded and digital collections have expanded, people are facing the headache of organizing and finding what they want. Muze data is the key that unlocks the promise of digital media."

Enterprise Partners expects to aggressively expand Muze’s market in providing content to retail web sites, stores and kiosks, Stensrud says. Muze’s customers connect to its Internet-based databases to pull content into their own online systems, which provide a means for retailers to organize and present current information related to the music titles and artists.

Paul Zullo will remain as CEO of Muze. Carl Eibl, a managing director of Enterprise Partners, will join Stensrud on the Muze board.

Enterprise Partners became aware of Muze’s potential for growth after Stensrud’s Fortuna Classical Music became a Muze client. Fortuna, whose web site is FortunaClassical.com, sells products and services that digitize CDs for playback and storage in home music systems. Fortuna plans to eventually sell digital classical music tracks through its web site.

“After we became a customer of Muze, I realized this was a diamond in the rough that we could grow dramatically,” says Stensrud, who is also a board member and past president of the San Diego Opera.

Enterprise Partners is also invested in WideRay, a company that delivers digital content to cell phones.

 

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