Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Napster Back to the Basics

Napster has come full circle for the third time, and is offering free music. There is one big catch though; you can only listen to a song five times. After the five times you will need to either buy the title or sign up for a monthly subscription to listen to that song. Napster has 2 million tunes in its collection that users will be able to listen to without having to use their credit card or download the Napster software.

This marketing driven new model is similar to its competitor RealNetworks' Rhapsody service which allows its users to sample 25 songs a month. Napster offers a plan for $9.95 a month that offers its users unlimited online listening, or $14.95 for a plan that lets its users transfer songs to certain portable devices that does not include the most popular music player iPod.

All is not beer and Skittles at Napster. The new Napster, relaunched in 200,3 has lost more than $73M USD in venture capital over the last two years, according to equity firm American Technology Research.

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