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Bertelsmann eCommerce Group

Bertelsmann Ecommerce Group acquires Myplay, Inc.
Bertelsmann creates World's #1 music services company and advances global media strategy

Hamburg / New York (ots)

BeMusic integrates subscriber-based
businesses with world class online and offline properties
Bertelsmann eCommerce Group (BeCG) announced today the acquisition
of myplay, Inc, the pioneering digital music locker service with more
than six and one half million registered users.  BeCG will utilize
myplay's Locker and Subscription Technology and infrastructure to
directly interface with consumers within BeMusic, the newly founded
on and offline division that merged Bertelsmann's CDNOW, the premier
online music retailer in the U.S, and BMG Direct, the world's largest
music club, to create the world's No. 1 music services company.  The
acquisition of myplay advances BeCG's 'Music Anywhere' strategy of
providing the world's consumers with the music they want, whenever
and wherever they want it.
Andreas Schmidt, President and CEO of BeCG said: "With myplay as
another important building block of our music strategy, we can offer
consumers now an unmatched array of services with a high degree of
personalization; whether they are buying actual CDs, storing digital
music, streaming a music file or accessing the wide variety of music
available via our subscription based music clubs".
Effective July 1st, the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group also merges
all its online and offline music assets into its new BeMusic Division
to form the #1 global music service company. BeMusic generates yearly
revenues of one billion US Dollar and has 2400 employees including
state of the art distribution and fulfillment capabilities. BeMusic
serves over 12 million subscribers, part of 23 million customers
online and offline. It operates the worlds largest music club and the
leading US online music retailer in addition to industry-leading
technology and Digital Rights Management companies. With 11.9 million
unique visitors per month BeMusic's consumer brands are the worldwide
# 1 music entertainment destination sites according to Media Metrix
surpassing all its competitors. Per year BeMusic ships over 150
million CDs to its customers in the US, which represents a total of
15 percent of the total US CD sales of one billion units per year. In
addition BeMusic the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group will continue its
strategic alliance with Napster, which focuses on building a
subscription based filesharing service.
Andreas Schmidt: "As music is today the only media that crossed
succesfully the borders of the online and offline world and has
created a high demand by the consumers worldwide to be accessible
anywhere, anytime BeMusic is the first and most important cornerstone
of the Bertelsmann strategy to integrate its global customer bases
and deliver content in digital and physical formats across all
networks and devices. As consumer demand and behavior continues to
change in the future, BeMusic will lead the way in the distribution
of other media categories like books or filmed entertainment to
provide unmatched services and easy to use consumer experience."
BeMusic Answers Consumer Demand for Convenience and Accetssibility
in Delivering Content
The acquisition of myplay will give BeMusic customers the
flexibility to store and access their music from any location via any
device, whether PC based, handheld, at home or in the car through
Internet, broadband or mobile networks. It is part of BeMusic's
multi-channel strategy to deliver to consumers the best music
experience to the world's largest music customer base. BeMusic will
work closely with the myplay team to integrate its Locker and
Subscription technologies into their wide-ranging brands so that
consumers can seamlessly store, manage, download or stream the music
they care about. With this addition, BeCG becomes the only company
that covers all possible distribution technologies and platforms for
music fans everywhere, ranging form retailing online and offline,
subscriptions to downloads, filesharing and streaming music.
Doug Camplejohn, CEO and co-founder of myplay, Inc. said, "We
share BeCG's commitment to provide consumers with the best digital
music experience. From our launch day in October 1999 we hoped to
change the way people experienced music on the Web. Now, as part of
BeCG we will be able to realize that goal, bringing our tools, team
and technologies to join the company that is creating the Web's best
music distribution platform with the greatest flexibility and ease of
use for the consumer."  David Pakman, President of Business
Development and Public Policy and co-founder said, "As part of the
BeCG multi-channel platform the myplay Locker can become the
cornerstone of new subscription offerings from a company clearly
possessing the leadership and direct-to-consumer reach to credibly
deliver on the promise of digital music. With consumers clamoring for
access to legitimate, convenient online music services, we are
pleased to become part of a company so committed to innovation and
the quality of the customer experience."
Myplay, the original creator of the music Locker, over the last
two years assembled a highly experienced and innovative team. Myplay
delivered a compelling and valuable new music application, the
Locker, which allowed consumers for the first time to store,
organize, and access their digital music collections via the Internet
from a choice of devices.  Since its introduction in 1999 the myplay
Locker has become a key building block of the fast-growing digital
music economy. The company's expertise in creating scalable Locker
technology, understanding of consumer behavior and knowledge of the
legal landscape enabled the company to successfully design and
implement a private-label locker infrastructure for AOL Time Warner's
Nullsoft Winamp.
About BeCG:
Bertelsmann eCommerce Group (BeCG) was founded in June 2000 as a
division of Bertelsmann AG. The group's objective is to build the
leading global community and commerce networks across all
technologies and platforms providing consumers with all media
products and formats. Bertelsmann has direct access to some 200
million customers worldwide.  Bertelsmann has 81,000 employees
worldwide and revenues of 32.4 billion DM for fiscal year 1999/2000. 
With 50 million unique visitors per month Bertelsmann is the global
Internet leader among all media companies.  BeCG is part of
Bertelsmann's DirectGroup, comprised of all of Bertelsmann's
subscriber based businesses.
About Myplay, Inc.
Myplay is the creator of the digital music Locker', the
groundbreaking application that changed the way people experience
music on the Web. Myplay ( debuted on the Web in
October 1999 and now has 6.5 million customers. Led by founders and
former Apple Computer colleagues Doug Camplejohn, CEO, and David
Pakman, President of Business Development and Public Policy, myplay
is the legal and industry friendly online service that gives
consumers the ability to store, manage and legally share their
personal music collections online. Myplay is the creator of the
digital music Locker and the "Copy To Locker" button, and provides a
suite of locker services and technology to other companies, enabling
them to integrate the value of a co-branded or private label digital
locker into their offerings. A customized version of the Locker can
be found at AOL Time Warner's Nullsoft Winamp
( Myplay's Locker infrastructure is powered
by a blue chip list of technology companies including AboveNet
Communications, Cisco, EMC and Sun.
Myplay has worked with record labels, such as Hollywood and
Artemis Records and artists including Aimee Mann Steve Earle and
Kittie via its Target Music Marketing (TMM) programs. The company has
received funding from respected venture capital firms Vulcan
Ventures, IVP, Integral Capital Partners, and investment bank Allen &
Company. Based in Redwood City, CA, with an office in New York City,
Myplay can be contacted by phone at 650-620-6900.


Bertelsmann eCommerce Group:
Frank Sarfeld
Senior Vice President and Chief Communication Officer
Tel. Hamburg: +49-40-82 22 62 420
World phone: +1 646 752 3170

Alexander Adler
Director Corporate Communications
Tel. Hamburg: +49-40 82 22 62 320

Contact myplay, Inc.
Paula Batson
VP Communications and Industry Relations
myplay, Inc
Tel.: +1 646 562 0306