snocap.jpg Snocap, the company that wanted to let bands set their own licensing terms for music downloads across the Web, has cut its staff by 60 percent, CNET has confirmed.

The San Francisco company has struggled to define a business model amid quick change in the industry, and recently had moved into new areas, setting up online stories for musicians at various sites. It said its technology can track the usage of music online, and ensure that it is being licensed properly, according to copyright. The stores were a way for musicians to sell the music. A good idea, but a fragile one considering it needed to find a way to make money from it.
We’ve been barraged by meaningless press releases from the company – four in the last month alone — that try to drum up publicity. A recent one was for aTreasure Trunk contest at the Treasure Island music festival in San Francisco.

Snocap was best known for being the post-Napster effort by Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning. Fanning had since left the company, however, starting his own gaming company, Rupture.

The blog ValleyWag first reported the story, and said the company is for sale, and a spokeswoman didn’t dispute that.

In September 2006, Snocap announced a deal to sell music on MySpace, allowing bands to sell music for whatever price they wanted, in line with Snocap’s model. Snocap would get a small cut. That deal appears to still be in place.

The company was backed with $25 million from Ron Conway, Morgenthaler Ventures and WaldenVC.