I talked to Kasian Franks, CEO of Seeqpod yesterday and his company, like many companies, are finding ways to survive. I originally posted about Seeqpod here and then followed up here when the site went down. Seeqpod is easily one of my favorite online applications and I use it every day.
When I asked Franks what was happening, he indicated that between the litigation and the funding from small investors become difficult. Seeqpod was then approached by potential suitors who were attracted by the threat that Seeqpod posed to old media companies. (Interesting shift in investor types who are notoriously risk averse for the most part.) He indicated that there was a “large media company” (not Time Warner) that was interested and they were in the final talks. We talked a little about Apple and their impact on the music industry, which sounds so strange when it’s said that way (but very true with respect to distribution). We talked about Google; “They were too busy to talk to us, but we did map out a potential mobile strategy.â€ They have gone their separate ways for now.
When I asked him about how they were going to monetize Seeqpod, he mentioned that because of the asteroid strike that was the economy, that they had lost their investors. He also talked about the bottom dropping out of the advertising, with some advertisers offering 30 cents CPM for ads. He also said that when the Seeqpod service returned it would be modified. It would be better and more robust and Kasian looks to have his technical team and the suitors collaborate on a more powerful Seeqpod. It should be up in roughly 2 -3 weeks depending upon when the deal is finalized. Currently Seeqpod has 120 million monthly searches and 45 million monthly unique visitors and I know that I miss the service. As for Kasian, there is an opportunity to be the Chief Visionary Officer for a couple of other companies that value his experience and vision.
From an email I later received from Kasian:
Seeqpod started by putting its users first, putting the consumer first and will continue that more valuable legacy. We’ll also advance as I myself will be advising other companies that don’t mind being powerfully disruptive especially in terms of new innovative revenue models surrounding tomorrowâ€™s algorithms and technology applied to what drives the human spirit.
As I was writing this I saw one of the people Iâ€™m following Tweet about a song they were listening to. And I thought, wouldnâ€™t it be great to be able to stream that song to the person following if they requested it. That seems to be right up Seedpodsâ€™ alley. Hope to see that soon.
Long live the pod!