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"Traditional music companies need to create the alliances with third parties and broaden their reach with new distribution networks."
—--Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers
HILBERS: NAPSTER LAUNCH PUSHED TO Q1
Online Music Swapper Delays the Launch of New Service Due To Lack of Major Content
Former renegade swapco and current label-loving online citizen Napster announced today that it will delay the launch of its new, secure service due to the site's paucity of major label content. The new and improved Napster was expected to launch later this year, but Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers says the service will be available some time in the first quarter of 2002.

The delay comes less than a week after Napster laid off about 16 percent of its staff.

Securing major content has also been an obstacle for other music sites. Issues surrounding the struggle to obtain and control digital music disribution are the focus of a federal antitrust investigation, including probes into Pressplay and MusicNet, which, jointly, are backed by the five major record labels.

Napster, meanwhile, remains the target of label-sponsored litigation from its bad old days. The judge in that case, Marilyn Hall Patel, refused on 10/10 to rule on plaintiffs' request for summary judgment. She did, however, add criticism of Pressplay and MusicNet to her rebukes of Napster.

"Traditional music companies need to create the alliances with third parties and broaden their reach with new distribution networks," said Hilbers in his keynote speech at the Webnoize digital media conference kick-off this morning. "And, if not possible otherwise, the government must help establish a competitive environment that allows the new ideas and firms the opportunity to flourish."

Hilbers then raised the flag and led an emotional rendition of "God Bless America."

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