Napster Names Hilbers New CEO
Napster has named Konrad Hilbers as CEO, Billboard Bulletin reports. The announcement was made yesterday (July 24) at the Plug.In online music conference in New York, which was presented by Jupiter MeNapster has named Konrad Hilbers as CEO, Billboard Bulletin reports. The announcement was made yesterday (July 24) at the Plug.In online music conference in New York, which was presented by Jupiter Media Metrix in association with Billboard. Hilbers succeeds Hank Barry, who has served as interim CEO since May 2000 and will remain on Napster's board of directors.
Hilbers exited last month as BMG's executive VP/chief administrative officer; at the time, he was said to be returning to parent company Bertelsmann, where he previously held key posts at the book division and at AOL/Bertelsmann Europe. During his time at BMG, Hilbers was understood to have been involved in negotiations relating to the company's role in Napster and major-label backed subscription service MusicNet.
Hilbers' first task in his new post will be to oversee the launch of Napster's subscription service, expected later this summer. Users will have access to MusicNet's catalog, which will include songs from content partners BMG, EMI, and Warner Music Group. MusicNet has also entered into an agreement with the Zomba group, which will make available tracks from Jive artists such as Britney Spears, 'N Sync, and the Backstreet Boys.
Meanwhile, Vivendi Universal vice chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. told attendees of Plug.In that rival subscription service Pressplay will launch in the first half of September. Both Pressplay and MusicNet have yet to secure publishing licenses for their services.