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LAUNCH Media is a Santa Monica-based media company that created LAUNCH.com, an online music site, and LAUNCH (magazine), a magazine issued both in print and as a CD-ROM disk magazine. LAUNCH Media was acquired by Yahoo! for US$12 million in 2001. The features of LAUNCH.com, including the LAUNCHcast Internet Radio service, were later integrated into Yahoo! Music.
Previously referred to simply as "LAUNCH", LAUNCH Media began as the publisher of LAUNCH, a magazine issued in both standard print format and as an interactive CD-ROM. Eventually the print version was eliminated and subscribers were sent only the CD-ROM version. LAUNCH magazine disks were often found pre-packaged with new PCs in the late 1990s.
LAUNCH magazine contained video interviews, live performances, and special video segments by music stars as well as standard (but interactive) music magazine features.
LAUNCH Media later introduced LAUNCH.com, the official LAUNCH magazine website. The site featured LAUNCH magazine content, music videos, and, beginning in 1999, LAUNCHcast Internet radio.
The company was purchased by Yahoo! for US$12 million in 2001. LAUNCH.com was later integrated into Yahoo! Music.
At the time of its acquisition, LAUNCH was in a legal battle with the recording industry over LAUNCHcast, which the industry claimed provided an "unapproved level of interactivity". LAUNCH pulled LAUNCHcast from LAUNCH.com, then later restarted it with a reduced catalog. Yahoo! later acquired LAUNCH as a subsidiary to avoid being dragged into the recording industry's lawsuit, but was dragged into it anyway. On April 27, 2007, Yahoo! defeated a Sony BMG copyright infringement lawsuit over LAUNCHcast.