BTopenworld adds online pop magazine to its internet armoury

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The Independent Online

BT yesterday snapped up dotmusic.com, a music website, from United Business Media in a move designed to broaden the variety of content it can offer internet users.

The company, which would not put a precise figure on the deal, is said to have paid "significantly less" than £1m for the London-based firm.

All 13 of dotmusic.com's staff will transfer to BTopenworld, BT's internet service provider business under the deal, which is expected to complete at the beginning of next month.

"Adding dotmusic's exclusive content, extensive user base and strong online music brand name to our already successful music site will ensure we continue to be a leading player in online music service provision," said Alison Ritchie, BTopenworld's chief executive.

Dotmusic.com, which was founded in 1995, offers news and reviews on the music industry and also provides video footage and sound clips.

The website, which has 1.7 million users and generates 16 million page impressions a month, also sells CDs, concert tickets and other music-related goods.

Mark O'Donoghue, dotmusic's former managing director and now in charge of UBM's UK music and entertainment titles, said: "Successfully selling a dotcom in the current environment might seem unlikely, but dotmusic has built up a great franchise with 1.7 million customers and music fans."

BTopenworld, which undertook a strategic review last year, has been looking to strengthen its content offering in music and games for some time. The purchase follows its January launch of BTopenworld Classical, a classical music subscription service, and its November acquisition of Games Domain, a gaming website.

BT recently slashed its wholesale price for broadband online access in a move designed to lower prices for high speed internet access and encourage customers to upgrade.

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