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Bertelsmann eCommerce Group

BeCG licenses Napster's technology platform for global music services company BeMusic
BeMusic using Napster's new secure technology to focus on eCommerce, subscription services and club membership business

New York, NY and Redwood City, CA (ots)

Bertelsmann eCommerce
Group (BeCG) announced today the completion of a technology licensing
and distribution agreement with Napster Inc. The agreement calls for
Napster's new secure technology, absent Napster's peer-to-peer
functionality, to be used as a core building block for BeMusic. It
will also give Napster's platform added distribution through the new
BeMusic service. With over 23 million subscribers and customers,
BeMusic's online and offline music and entertainment service consists
of CDNOW, the leading Internet-based music retailer; BMG Direct, home
of BMG Music Service, the largest record club business in North
America; and myplay Inc., the pioneering digital music locker
"Napster's platform has been tested by millions of music fans and
the Napster technology is trusted as dependable and easy to use,"
said Andreas Schmidt, President and CEO of BeCG. "The new secure
version of the technology has incorporated feedback from the Napster
community as well as the rightsholders. BeMusic will use this
platform to build an easy-to-use, new service that offers the best in
e-commerce, subscription services and club memberships, driving
future sales and encouraging the adoption of secure digital music
"Napster is pleased that BeCG has licensed Napster's technology
for their BeMusic service and we look forward to the added
distribution this partnership affords us," said Konrad Hilbers, CEO
of Napster Inc. "We have worked hard to incorporate feedback from
Napster users to create a new Napster platform that reflects our goal
to serve both consumers and rightsholders. We are also very gratified
to see the results of the Napster team's hard work becoming the basis
for other consumer services and moving out into the world. We look
forward to showcasing this new platform in our upcoming membership
based service."
The new secure version of the Napster platform licensed by BeCG
reflects Napster's knowledge of the music consumer. Using Napster's
technology, BeMusic's subscribers will have access to a service with
the greatest ease-of-use of any available on the market while
protecting rightsholder's copyrights with state-of-the-art security
The underlying architecture, which does not include Napster's
peer-to-peer functionality, will be used as a platform on which the
BeMusic suite of brands and services will be built.  BeMusic's 23
million subscribers and customers will benefit from Napster's
platform in creating a robust service that encompasses new features
such as instant messaging, hot lists, chat features, search
functionality and playlist and music library retrieval capabilities;
all of which can be dynamically presented based on personal user
preferences. These features will be integrated into BeMusic's
offerings that include direct download, streaming, digital locker
services, club memberships, subscription services and online retail.
About BeMusic
   BeMusic is the world's largest music services group with more than
23 million subscribers and customers, $1 billion in music sales, and
has 11 million unique visitors per month worldwide. Headquartered in
New York City, BeMusic operates some of the world's best-known music
brands, including BMG Music Service, the world's largest music club;
CDNOW, the leading music retailer on the Internet in the U.S;
industry-leading technology and Digital Rights Management companies;
and myplay Inc., the pioneering digital music locker service. BeMusic
is focused on creating the one-stop shop for today's and tomorrow's
consumer, covering the complete spectrum of how people buy and enjoy
music. BeMusic delivers music through any possible channel, including
music club purchasing, e-tailing, digital downloads and streaming,
and digital subscriptions services. Formed in July 2001, BeMusic also
holds a strategic alliance with Napster, the worldwide
person-to-person music file-sharing service with more than 60 million
registered users.
About BeCG
   Bertelsmann eCommerce Group was formed in July 2000 as a division
of Bertelsmann AG. The objective of the group is to integrate all
forms of digital and physical distribution over the internet,
broadband and mobile networks for all media content. Headquartered in
New York, BeCG operates various businesses in Europe and the United
States. BeCG is part of Direct Group Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann has
access to over 200 million customers worldwide.
About Napster
   Founded in May 1999, Napster, Inc. pioneered person-to-person file
sharing and created one of the most frequently downloaded software
applications in the history of the Internet. Napster provides music
enthusiasts with an easy-to-use, high quality service for discovering
new music and communicating their interests with other members of the
Napster community. The service enables users to locate and share
music files, send instant messages to other users, and create Hot
List bookmarks. In October 2000, Napster partnered with Bertelsmann
eCommerce Group to develop a membership-based service. Edel Music and
TVT Records joined the alliance in January 2001. In June 2001,
Napster became a MusicNet partner and signed a landmark distribution
deal with the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and the
Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), two organizations
that represent hundreds of European independent record labels. In
September, 2001, Napster signed a landmark accord with the National
Music Publishers Association (NMPA) for a proposed licensing and
settlement agreement.
ots Original Text Service: Bertelsmann eCommerce Group


For BeMusic/BeCG:
Alexander Adler
Director, Corporate Communications
Fon: +49 (40) 822262 320

For Napster:
mPRm Public Relations
Paul Breton / Karen DeMarco
Fon: +1 (323) 9333399 /

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