Napster Mobile: It's More Than Ringtones

Napster sure has come a long way since college student Shawn Fanning started it as a peer-to-peer music sharing service back in 1999—and then it eventually got outlawed by the Recording Industry Association of America. After becoming a subscription-based music service it never quite regained its hype due to Apple's dynamic duo—the iPod and iTunes music store—entering the playground. But that hasn't stopped the online music company from trying. Enter Napster Mobile.

Today, SunCom Wireless announced that it would be the first wireless provider to offer customers full music track downloads directly to their handsets from Napster Mobile for $2 per track. Customers will receive over-the-air downloads on their phones and simultaneous delivery to their PCs.

Sounds like an ideal opportunity for Napster to regain some of its shine, especially considering the International Data Corporation's U.S. Wireless Music 2006-2010 Forecast and Analysis predicts that U.S. wireless music services will have over 50 million users and generate more than a billion dollars in revenue in 2010.

No wonder Nokia recently acquired music distribution service Loudeye so that it could create its own online music store to provide content for the Finnish cellphone giant's music phones.

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  • Uncle Fester

    I disagree with Gary. Napster does have ground to make up. However, what other site lets you listen to complete tracks of music before you buy? You can even preview whole albums for free. That feature alone makes Napster worthwhile and relavent.

  • Gary Bourgeault (thealphamarke

    Napster just doesn't have it anymore. The great majority of its target audience has been long gone.

    No matter what they try, they aren't going to be the "rebel" company that they were. That's what attracted people to it.

    Anybody can do what they are doing; why would anybody want to do it through them?