|Industry||Online music store|
|Key people||Ivan J. Parron, Esq.|
|Website||Ritmoteca.com (no affiliation to current domain holder)|
Ritmoteca.com was an online music store and early pioneer in the online downloadable music space. Founded in Miami, Florida in 1998 during the Dot-com bubble by Ivan J. Parron, and Ricardo Decubas, the company was the leading Latin music download website and an early predecessor to Apple Inc.'s now highly successful iTunes business model of selling digital music downloads over the Internet. Mr. Parron founded the company after operating the successful web development company Internet Marketing Consultants, which designed Ritmoteca's revolutionary graphical user interface for retailing online music. Ritmoteca.com aggregated exclusive digital distribution rights from over one hundred independent Latin music record labels and amassed a library of over 500,000 music tracks and videos, including exclusive digital distribution rights to catalogs of some of the worlds top renowned Latin artists such as Marc Anthony, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. The company was also the first digital Latin music companies to sign digital distribution agreements with the major record labels, signing agreements with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann Music Group and Warner Music Group. These agreements gave the company digital distribution rights for artists such as U2, Madonna (entertainer), Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias and Jay-Z. The company grew to as many as 200 employees through investments from institutional and "angel" investors including Bain Capital. The company forged key strategic alliances with companies including Microsoft, MSN, AOL, Pressplay and Creative Labs, becoming the go-to source for Latin digital music. The company was poised to launch an initial public offering when the Dot-com bubble stock market suddenly crashed on April 14, 2000. That event, combined with the emergence of the company Napster on the music scene, enabling people to trade music online for free, made it virtually impossible for the company to raise additional venture capital and continue its rapid growth. The company evolved into a distributor of digital music rights and eventually closed down in 2005.