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Business News (more headlines) 12-03-2003

CNET Networks Announces Strategy To Serve Music Fans And The Independent Artist Community

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As it takes ownership today of the MP3.com domain, which it purchased from VUNet USA, CNET Networks, Inc. announced its strategy to serve the needs of music fans and the independent artist community. The Company is planning two upcoming music site launches: a free independent artist upload/download site that will be featured on CNET Download.com starting in early 2004, and the re-launch of MP3.com as a comprehensive music information site shortly thereafter.

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The music upload/download site that will be featured on CNET Download.com, the world's largest download library, will serve the needs of the independent artist community and its fans. Adapting the core functionality that users of the previous MP3.com site valued most, the new site will enable independent artists to upload their songs for free, gaining valuable exposure before Download.com's tens of millions of unique monthly visitors. Music fans will be able to easily find their favorite artists and music types, and sample songs for free. Independent artists were notified last week that they should copy and hold their music files for transfer to the new site, and turn to http://music.download.com between now and its launch for updates.

When CNET Networks re-launches MP3.com next year, it will address the increasing demand for a central information resource focused on music, leveraging CNET Networks' strength as a premier provider of innovative, interactive content. The emergence of digital music on the Internet is changing the music landscape, impacting fans, artists, and the music industry. The company's goals for the MP3.com site are to serve the evolving needs of all of these communities, by providing easy access to a broad range of information focused on music.

People who visit MP3.com Web site between now and the re-launch will find place-holder content, including message boards, through which CNET Networks can gather feedback on preferred music content as it builds the MP3.com Web site.

"While our strength is in producing interactive content, it is our users and their engagement with our sites that is at the core of our success," said Barry Briggs, chief operating officer of CNET Networks. "Therefore, we are looking forward to hearing more from independent artists and music fans alike regarding their needs, and tailoring our offerings to them."

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