Napster, the embattled file-swapping music service, said it would begin to offer subscriptions later this year.
The company's new CEO, Konrad Hilbers, said Napster would be back online as soon as it fully meets the terms of a court ruling to remove all copyrighted material from its site.
Napster must also demonstrate it can effectively police itself to make sure no copyrighted material is being traded.
According to Hilbers, Napster has not decided how much it would charge for its subscription service.
Hilbers, a former employee of Bertelsmann, which has partnered with Napster to develop a membership-based distribution system, said: "I'm very much a believer in what Napster stands for, which is the sharing of music among friends and private consumers."
He said Napster could still be a place where people swap music free of charge, as long as it is not copyrighted.
Hilbers' comments were made during a panel discussion about digital content on the web and the danger of copyright violations.
Napster's song-trading network has been offline since 2 July when it took down the system to comply with a court order and to improve its filtering software.
US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel told Napster to remain offline until it could offer a foolproof service capable of screening out every single unauthorised song.
Napster appealed the judge's order and an appellate court allowed Napster to resume its service, but the company has yet to come back online.
Since Napster took its service down, online music fans have turned to other services, such as Gnutella and Kazaa, for free music downloads.
According to industry consulting firm Webnoize, the average number of files shared by a person on the Napster network fell from 220 in February to just 21 by the end of May.
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