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"We made public our business model and technology today in hopes that the recording industry will meet us at the table to come to a resolution that benefits artists and consumers alike."
——Napster CEO Hank Barry
MEET THE NEW NAPSTER... MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE OLD NAPSTER
Is It Really A Billion-Dollar Question, Or A 50-Million-At-Five-Bucks-A-Pop Question?
Napster today went public with the business model it had been presenting to major labels for the last six months.

Besides confirming the billion-dollar revenue proposal (hitsdailydouble.com, 2/20) to be paid out to the labels, songwriters and artists over the next five years, the announcement also came close to confirming the guesses of many industry insiders who figured the subscription fee would be $5 a month.

"Napster has a viable business model with solid revenue streams and we are building the technology to make it happen," said Napster CEO Hank Barry. "We made public our business model and technology today in hopes that the recording industry will meet us at the table to come to a resolution that benefits artists and consumers alike."

The membership model includes a "Basic Membership" plan that would cost in the range of $2.95 to $4.95 per month with an as yet undermined limit on file transfers. The "Premium Membership" will cost between $5.95 and $9.95 and will offer unlimited file transfers.

Users will be asked to pay an additional fee in order to burn CDs and to transfer their music to portable devices. The service will offer secure, complete and accurate file transfers, a new player with a personal jukebox and enhanced search and community features.

The company also unveiled key aspects of its rights accounting architecture and security technology.

The new Napster is set for a summer launch.

"Bertelsmann chose to build a partnership with Napster in October 2000 because of the tremendous value it creates for promoting artists and building community," said Bertelsmann eCommerce Group President and CEO Andreas Schmidt. "The revenue potential of Napster for the entire recording industry is unprecedented and it's time to start thinking towards the future and figure out a way to leverage this potential instead of trying to quell it. In the interest of the consumer and artists it's time for the industry to lay down their arms."

"I have so many cool things in development and I want to be able to bring them to the Napster community," said Napster creator Shawn Fanning. "I am also grateful for the outpouring of support from the Napster community, keep it coming!"

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