Napster Debuts Online, Advertiser-Supported Service

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Napster, the online music service, has recently announced its new subscription service that offers music fans access to tracks within an advertiser-supported site. The company has allowed music lovers to stream any song five times, free of charge, as part of the play. Those who want greater access can sign up for Napster’s paid download and subscription service, which offers an a-la-carte download for 99 cents, and a monthly subscription rate of $9.95. Subscribers can also avail of subscription portability on an MP3 device for a monthly charge of $14.95. Napster has 600,000 subscribers as of this writing.

The move represents a variation, rather than an overhaul, in the existing Napster business model. Offering freebies could entice more signups, especially from consumers who require a bigger taste before making a commitment. Meanwhile, Napster.com will immediately tap into online advertising revenues, and early takers include Disney, Guitar Center, House of Blues, Touchstone Pictures, and Samsung. Napster will also unveil a community-based music section called “Narchive,” though details remain thin on this aspect. Other partners and details may be announced by Napster chief Chris Gorog, who is delivering a keynote this morning at MusEXPO, an A&R-focused conference taking place in Los Angeles.

The new subscription service from Napster has been met with mixed reactions from music fans. Some are happy with the five free streams, while others feel that the offering is not enough to entice them to sign up for the paid service. Some critics believe that Napster’s decision to allow free streaming could lead to a drop in the quality of music offerings, as advertisers may influence the selection of tracks.

However, for Napster, this move is seen as a way to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive music streaming industry. With the rise of Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services, Napster has had to adapt to survive. The company has been through several changes since its inception in 1999, including a shutdown in 2001 and a relaunch in 2003. Napster was acquired by Best Buy in 2008, and then by Rhapsody in 2011. The company rebranded itself as Napster in 2016 and has been working hard to regain its position in the music streaming market.

The move towards an advertiser-supported site is a smart one for Napster. By offering free streaming of songs, the company is attracting more potential customers to its site. These customers may be more inclined to sign up for the paid service if they enjoy the free stream. Additionally, advertisers are more likely to partner with Napster if they know that their ads will be seen by a large audience. It’s a win-win situation for both Napster and its advertisers.

Napster’s new community-based music section, “Narchive,” is an interesting addition to the company’s offerings. It remains to be seen how this section will be received by users, but if done right, it could be a great way to engage with the music community and create a sense of community around the brand.

Overall, Napster’s new subscription service is a step in the right direction for the company. By offering free streaming of songs and partnering with advertisers, Napster is positioning itself as a serious player in the music streaming industry. While it remains to be seen how successful the new service will be in the long run, it’s clear that Napster is not giving up without a fight.