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"We have had discussions with Bertelsmann, but we haven't seen a business model that puts the reality around that dream."
——AOL Time Warner Co-COO Richard Parsons
AOL TIME WARNER STILL NOT BUYING INTO NAPSTER
Lack Of Convincing Business Model Keeps Media Giant Skeptical
Are they sore losers or legitimately concerned about future online activity?

AOL Time Warner executives Wednesday (1/31) said competitor Bertelsmann has yet to convince them that the German giant's efforts to create a legitimate commercial online distribution service through Napster is possible, let alone worthwhile.

"We have had discussions with Bertelsmann, but we haven't seen a business model that puts the reality around that dream," said AOL Time Warner Co-COO Richard Parsons, reports CNET News.com.

Parsons' concerns echo others in the industry, and shed light on the difficulties currently facing Bertelsmann, which last year purchased a piece of the popular but still controversial online site. With the purchase, Bertelsmann intends to transform the free file-sharer into a pay music distribution platform.

Participants—on the major label group level—in Bertelsmann's play have yet to emerge, despite the German giant's active courting. Cooperation from the other four majors is key to Napster's future success.

On Monday, Bertelsmann said that Napster would begin charging subscription fees in June or July (hitsdailydouble.com, 1/29).

 

 

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