February 07, 2001, 3:38 PM — NAPSTER WILL LAUNCH a subscription service this summer that promises high-quality music downloads, a spokesman for German media conglomerate Bertelsmann confirmed.
In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thomas Middelhoff, Bertelsmann's chief executive officer, announced there would be a second Napster service. Middelhoff said he expects the new service to go live in June or July.
"The new service will co-exist with the existing Napster service," said Frank Sarfeld, senior vice president of the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group, in an interview. "Internet users will still be able to use the current Napster service."
Bertelsmann formed a strategic alliance with Napster last October. The German giant provided Napster with a loan when the company was fending off claims from the record industry in court.