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What the Hell Happened to CDNow?

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User ckeegan posted this question on NetPhoria on December7, 2002. Ckeegan noticed that CDNow and Amazon had merged and was highly distressed by it. The lament continued to mourn perceived loss of a specialty store to a corporate pop-monger. The official sounding PR-lingo of informs us that "CDNow was acquired by Berteinsman in 2000." By the end of 2002 the CDNow site reflected the agreement with Amazon which included fulfillment, inventory content and customer service.

1994 CDNow Begins Selling Music launched in February 1994 as a drop-ship fulfillment center. Laying it's roots as a Telnet music service, CDNow became a full-fledged music retail site in September that same year.

1998 Number 1 Music Retailer

In April of 1998 CDNow was recognized as number one music retailer with more than 250,000 music offerings - 5x the size of the average music store — by Yahoo when it was announced a partnership between Yahoo! Mail CDNow (who was already partnered with Lycos, WebCrawler, GeoCities, AOL). In October of 1998, Amazonover took CDNow in music sales with $14.4 million in sales, just $500,000 moor than CDNow.

CDNow was an early innovator in internet advertising, preference-based retail recommendations,and the use of editorial content as a means to generate interest music. One the the prime features of the CDNow experience offered to music fans was personalized music recommendations, sample of music to preview before buying and a vast catalog of music trivia and information on artists, music releases, reviews and features written by notable writers in the music industry. CDNow was the first affiliate marketing program on the internet and was one of those affiliates.

CDNow's music catalog was organized by the following genres Rock & Pop, Country & Folk, Urban & Electronic, Jazz & Blues, World & New Age and Classical.

2000 Record growth and financial troubles

In 2000 CDNow, brandishing record growth in new customers, nearly double revenue and 3 million unique visitors per day , dominated the e-commerce headlines with a list of financial troubles including a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit for shipping delays during the holidays and the buyout by Media giant Bertelsman AG. By 2001 CDNow appeared to vanish from the attention of mainstream media. CDNow inhabited 3rd place in the queue of e-tailers, 1st for for seller of music, rated by site visitors. In a virtual hail-Mary by Napster to develop a respectable web service, CDNow partnered with Napster providing direct links from the file sharing behemoth to the Internet music retailer. Jupiter Media Metrix studies proclaimed that Napster users were 45% more likely to buy music than other online music communities.

2001 Number 3 E-tailer and Number 1 Online Music Seller

Yankee Group research analyst Paul Ritter reported to the E-Commerce Times CDNow's brand awareness was still relatively strong despite an absence of traditional advertising. CDNow's numbers were growing, out pacing, in contrast to a disastrous financial outlook. By June, after announcing loses of $212 million, closed its London office. A $141 million buyout by Bertelsmann (owner of BGM Entertainment) was made in hope for change for the legendary music e-tailor. CDNow might have survived the recession, internet bubble burst if it had not been for the devastation wake of 9/11 and its effects on consumerism.

2001 Sold to

In 2001 purchased the rights to CDNow and began operating the CDNow web site with little waring to CDNow customs and fans. Amazon continues to use the brand today.

Former employees of CDNow have created a Facebook group to keep in tough with each other.

About CDNow: Wikipedia

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