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Napster Ups Ante Against iTunes
February 3, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Once king of the P2P hill, Napster was subsequently banished to the bowels of the Internet by the Recording Industry Association of America. At the time, Napster revolutionized the way people obtain music by combining the community nature of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and the resourcefulness of a search engine. Within a few months of its initial release, the size and scope of Napster made this P2P network a household name.

However, the RIAA saw this as an imminent threat to their business model. In November of 2000, after repeated attempts to filter out copyrighted material, Napster finally closed its doors to the P2P world. All that was left of Naspter was its name - which would prove to have significant value. In late 2002, Roxio bought the Napster trademark with the intention of creating a fully legal, industry sanctioned subscription music service.

While this subscription service had the advantage of having the Napster name, Apple's iTunes was already making strides in the "legitimate" music business. Propelled by the wildly popular iPod mp3 player, iTunes retains its overwhelming status as the lead subscription service. In fact, it literally blows away the competition with 70% of the market share, compared to Napster's 11% (October 2004.)

Looking to close this 60% gap, Napster realizes it has to offer something iTunes does not. After all, both services are virtually the same. Both services have large libraries of music selling for $.99 each, or about $7 per album. It is like introducing another decentralized network into an already flooded P2P market.

In an effort to close this gap, Napster will allow subscribers for $14.95 to download an unlimited amount of music to a compatible portable music player (in addition to your regular subscription costs.) Own an iPod? Well, you are out of luck as the iPod mp3 player is not deemed worthy of Napster’s new promotional service. Only the iriver, Creative Zen, Gateway and Samsung portable music players are compatible with the new service. At least that is three more compatible players compared to iTune’s one compatible player.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Napster

Napster to Go Homepage.

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