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April 12, 2005

Baker Capital buys digital music firm MusicNet

New York private equity firm Baker Capital has acquired MusicNet, a digital music service providing subscriptions and downloads, for an undisclosed sum.

By CBR Staff Writer

MusicNet was founded in 1999 by RealNetworks, Bertelsmann, EMI, Sony and Time Warner in an attempt to create a market for legal music downloads. It provides content and services to distribution partners such as AOL, Virgin Digital and HMV on a private label basis, and claims to distribute 1.3 million music tracks.

However, it has been reported that the service has failed to live up to expectations since Apple burst onto the scene with its popular iPod and iTunes products.

As part of the purchase agreement, MusicNet said it will be capitalized with the necessary funds which it hopes will help expand the scale of its operations and enable it to build new products. It will continue to operate as an independent company with headquarters in New York and additional offices in Seattle.

MusicNet has the sophisticated infrastructure and the experienced management team and personnel necessary to launch solutions for global brands and to assist them to expand into new digital media markets, said Joseph Saviano, partner at Baker Capital. We capitalized the company to facilitate the launch of these initiatives and in support of our marquee distribution partners.

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