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'Long-Tail' Theory Faces the Music

By raising $36 million through this offering, DMG will expand its catalog while the getting is plentiful and relatively cheap.

However, there's another view that emerges as one digs into the actual filing. In DMG's case, it seems, the devil lurks in the niches of its prospectus. Most telling is that the company, in less than two years in business, has racked up $1.5 million in losses, or more than five times the revenue it has brought in.

Wall Street has frowned on those kinds of numbers for several years. But who knows, maybe the whiff of the long tail will overcome such stinginess. After all, with the right managerial crew, a good idea can take a company far.

But the executives at DMG still seem to be in the process of choosing a business model. Last year, the company said it planned to beef up hiring so it could sign, promote and market undiscovered artists. In May, it abruptly shifted gears, laying off seven of its 15 workers, and decided to focus on buying the rights of golden oldies. Also in the second quarter, the company took a $75,000 writedown for a non-recoverable advance it made to an unnamed recording artist.

For their hard work, executives are pulling in salaries of $120,000 or more and, along with directors, issuing themselves stock that will see its value surge exponentially on the IPO. Over the course of this year, the company has sold 2.4 million shares of its stock to eight insiders for a grand total of a penny a share.

Given all that, DMG's planned IPO looks as much like a long shot as it does a long tail. But why should that stop it? Let the buzz build up this buttercup to be young, foolish and happy before it's time to sing "Ain't that a shame."

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