Lynne d Johnson

 

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02.03.05 02:00 PM

napster 2 Go announced

I kept hearing about this at Midemnet in Cannes, but now it's an official announcement. I just don't know that this subscriber model is gonna' take off.


-Tobi Elkin, Just An Online Minute, Mediapost

Finally there is some competition for the iPod and Apple's iTunes music store.

Napster took aim at Apple yesterday, announcing the debut of a portable music subscription service called Napster To Go. Napster will charge subscribers $15 a month for access to an all-you-can-eat selection of music.

Apple's iTunes charges 99 cents to download a track that users purchase to own. The key difference is that Napster's plan lets music fans rent as much music as they want for $15 a month. Copy-protection software from Microsoft enables services such as Napster's to transfer music to portable devices while also prohibiting subscribers from making permanent copies.

Napster supports Napster To Go with a $30 million ad campaign including a Super Bowl TV spot. The spot asks music fans to compare the costs of spending $10,000 to buy and upload 10,000 tracks from Apple's iTunes music store to an iPod with the $15 fee Napster charges to place the same number of songs on Napster-compatible players such as Samsung's iRiver.

Apple has sold more than 230 million tracks and about 10 million iPods to date; it has 70 percent market share.

What are the prospects for subscription music services? Would people rather rent than own? We'll have to wait and see how this market shapes up. It sounds like a cool idea, though. Too bad we can't try Napster's new plan with our iPod. Damn, there's that compatibility issue again.

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" I told ya'll back in December about Napster's new subscription model, where you can grab all the music you want for 15 bucks a month. For all the reasons why this service won't work I think my prediction that..." [read more]
tracked on February 14, 2005 9:34 PM

 

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