Music download service Napster has decided to charge a membership subscription fee of around $5 a month, with services remaining basically the same as they have been, according to comments made by new Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers in a German magazine interview.
In a brief interview published in the German weekly Stern, Hilbers also reacted strongly when the interviewer described Napster as "practically dead." Hilbers responded: "Napster is not dead. The name (Napster) is very valuable, and we are working at top speed to create a workable business."
When asked how Napster will provide music when record labels own the rights, Hilbers said Napster had agreements with more than 200 independent labels, and maintained that there is "a lot of music" that is not copyrighted. And he added that hits from such artists as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera will be available from Napster's licensing agreement with Musicnet, the online collaboration between BMG, Warner Music and EMI.