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CNET acquires

Written by Jari Ketola @ 14 Nov 2003 18:21 User comments (6)

CNET acquires According to I.T. Vibe and others, has sent email to its customers stating that CNET Networks has acquired certain assets of, and as of December 2nd, 2003 website will no longer be available in its current form.
Here's the email in full:

CNET Networks, Inc announced today that it has acquired certain assets of, Inc. Please be advised that on Tuesday, December 2, 2003 at 12:00 PM PST the website will no longer be accessible in its current form.

CNET Networks, Inc. plans to introduce a new MP3 music service in the near future. If you would like to receive email updates on this service, including an invitation to a special members-only preview, please sign up here. is not transferring your personal information to CNET Networks, Inc. or any other third party.

On behalf of all of us at we thank you for your patronage and continued support. It has been a privilege to host one of the largest and most diverse collections of music in the world. wishes to express its sincere thanks to each of you for making us your premier destination for music online.


Although no official press release has been made yet by either or CNET, this definitely is a major move. Is CNET planning on opening a music store of their own or are they perhaps going for a different kind of MP3 music service. Time will tell.

Update: CNET confirms the agreement, but doesn't reveal much more details. The service will not be a music store.

A company representative said the revamped site would not compete with music download services such as Napster. Instead, the company plans to turn into a source of information for digital music.

I.T. Vibe

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6 user comments

114.11.2003 10:28

If CNET plan on running a music store from after the take over, it will be interesting to see if they provide their music sales in the traditional MP3 format or some other codec such as WMA codec as used by most of the rest. If one goes to purchase music from, they will expect their music to be at least in the MP3 format. Otherwise it is like having a shop titled 'DVD Home Entertainment' and all they sell is VHS tapes! ;)

215.11.2003 2:42

Instead, the company [CNET] plans to turn into a source of information for digital music." (Whoopee-doo). That's quite a service-drop from what used to do isn't it? I can find out all I need or want to know about digital music right here. I can't see as how "providing information on digital music" to the public is going to pay any bills at CNET. I hope they have something else up their sleeve, because their [stated] proposed new direction for seems kinda lame to me.

315.11.2003 16:41

I used alot to find and support new or growing artists. I can't believe it's going away. That makes me mad.

416.11.2003 10:56

In a world where most of today's popular music is based on looks and image instead of talent it's sad to see one of the few websites that offered not only an outlet for the aspiring independent artists which must rely on sheer talent, but to offer it to it's listeners for free and legitamately. Hopefully CNET for whatever reasons think they can enhance it with a "new direction" somehow will not or eventually make us, the listener have to pay in order to "keep providing the great service you're used to" BS. We don't need you if you are going to offer a few free "table-scraps" of music for non-members then push a "premium membership" for full access. You will lose alot of users and maybe the same will result from your other websites as well. As for me if I choose to boycott one website of CNET I definately won't go to any other.

516.11.2003 16:33

CNET also acquired ZDNET, the question is did they in anyway improve it? If the answer is yes then perhaps nothing will have changed except mp3s ownership but if the answer is no, then will be molded to conform to the CNET formula. It is likely that new aspiring artists will have to look for a new home because CNET will stick with a sensible business modely and go for the "sure thing."

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617.11.2003 8:56

I agree. The RIAA is slowly tryiong to gain control over everyghing. Rhapsody is a good service however but now that has gone to the dogs it will hurt the inde artists in which we could hear on the website. Voodoohippie

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