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31.05.2001 – 08:34

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.
ots Originaltext: Bertelsmann eCommerce Group
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