X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Despite Bertelsmann’s recent high-profile alliance with Napster, the German media conglomerate’s New York-based record label continues to plug away with a pay-per-download strategy. This week BMG Entertainment began testing a paid digital download system that it plans to roll out in the U.K. and Ireland in February. The trial, which will include popular BMG artists such as the Foo Fighters, Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera, will then be launched in the rest of Europe later next spring. The download trial, which follows on the heels of a similar trial in the U.S. last summer, seems again to put the record label at odds with the thinking of the Bertelsmann e-commerce group, which is busy developing a commercial version of Napster. BMG director for new media Hasse Breitholtz explains that despite Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff’s public embrace of Napster, paid digital downloads remain part of the record label’s long-term strategy. “Is it the only route going forward? I don’t think so,” said Breitholtz, who heads BMG new media initiatives in the U.K. and Ireland. “This trial is all about figuring out how the business will work online.” BMG has not decided on a price for the downloads but pricing in the U.S. was slightly less than what the same product would cost burned on a CD and sealed in shrink wrap — between $1.98 (2.25 euros) and $3.49 (3.97 euros) for singles and $9.98 (11.34 euros) and $14.98 (17.03 Euros) for entire CDs. The reason for the exhaustive testing of the service before it is offered to the public is to make sure the commercial download system, provided by Magex, will be able to handle the dozens of currencies required for a full European roll-out. The past year has been one of dramatic uncertainty for the $40 billion (45 billion euros) recording industry. To insulate themselves from the risks presented by the Internet, the labels have pursued multi-pronged, even contradictory strategies, hedging their bets until the legal cases are decided and the market is sorted out. It’s a strategy neatly summarized at a recent conference in London by Darryl Franklin, vice-president of business and legal affairs at Interscope: “If you have a finger in every pie, you’re not going to lose.” Related Articles from The Industry Standard: Bertelsmann: There Are No Talks With RecordTV If You Use Napster, You’re Being Watched Bertelsmann and Napster Ink Deal, Annoy Journalists Copyright � 2000 The Industry Standard

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.