Kazaa Relaunches As “Future Of Digital Music”. It’s Not.
(UPDATED) The press release arrived with the bold headline "Kazaa Relaunched – The Future Of Digital Music". After a rumored $100 million settlement with rights holders Kazaa is coming back to life as a legal digital music service in the United States.
Owner Altnet hopes to use once powerful Kazaa file-sharing brand to launch a licensed market offering music and ringtones available via subscription. All four major record companies (Universal, Sony, Warner Music Group and EMI,) plus some independent labels, have entered into agreements to provide content.
But the new Kazaa comes with a price tag and restrictions that make adoption by former file sharers unlikely. For $19.98/mo, you can download unlimited music to play on just 3 PCs. and you won’t be able to play those files on a portable music player. Once your subscription ends, you will no longer be able to play any files.
Kevin Bermeister, CEO is still optimistic, 'We are delighted to be able to deliver a fresh and exciting music platform to customers via an established icon like Kazaa. While these are not the best of economic times we have every confidence that our marketing and affinity with our customers will have us punching well above our weight in the market", he said.
"Kazaa expects a steady growth in its customer numbers but prefers to let its results do the talking so stay tuned for our next press release" concludes today's announcement.
I wouldn't bet on Kazaa making it to a second press release.