Bertelsmann is predicting a successful start for Napster's long-awaited subscription-based file-sharing service.

"I'm confident the service will be relaunched in the foreseeable future," Klaus Eierhoff, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann's DirectGroup division said. He added that nearly 2 million users have signed up for a beta test of the service.

"If that's not an expression of confidence, then I don't know what is," he said.

Bertelsmann announced an alliance with Napster last year. The company hoped to develop Napster into a fee-based service. In July, a former executive of the German media conglomerate took over as Napster's CEO. Bertelsmann has not disclosed the financial details of the relationship. Eierhoff describes it as a "financing agreement with option on majority."

The first steps toward clearing up Napster's legal problems have been taken, Eierhoff continued, mentioning a preliminary settlement signed Monday with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) and songwriters it represents.

"That encourages us that the remaining legal questions will be settled," he said.