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REAL NETWORKS READIES NEW ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE WITH RECORD LABELS

Published on .

(April 2, 2001) -- In the wake of a possible post-Napster world, Real Networks along with AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann AG and EMI Group are launching a new music venture, MusicNet, which will act as a clearinghouse of sorts, distributing music on a non-exclusive basis to music retail Web sites.

Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Real Networks, said discussions are under way to complete the deals with the companies, including the music-sharing service Napster, which is a partner with Bertelsmanns AG is a partner in a joint music consumer service. Real Networks says this is the first time major record companies have licensed music to a venture whose goal is mass subscription distribution over the Internet. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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