Feeds

Napster reborn! Roxio buys PressPlay

No file trading, from sound of it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Roxio is to relaunch Napster, on the back of today's $39m cash and stock acquisition of PressPlay, the download music service, from Sony and Universal Music.

The company is the proud owner of the Napster name and P2P file trading technology, acquired for $5m last November. But from the sound of it, there won't be much in the way of file trading, legal or otherwise: Roxio is to use the Napster brand, overseeing an "enhanced" PressPlay technology platform.

And there won't be any legal issues, as Roxio now holds download distribution agreements with all five music majors. The company already provides authorised CD burning services for PressPlay and EMI.

It seems a little surprising that Sony and Universal are willing to throw in the towel on their own online store, just when the concept of paid-for-music downloads is at last beginning to take hold with the public.

Apple's iTunes, launched last month, is a case in point. The DRM is an irritation and the audio quality has been questioned by many. But the service still claimed 2 million downloads at 99c a pop in its first 16 days. And that's a service that is launched only in the US and is accessible at the moment only to Mac users, which are - what - three or so per cent of PC owners.

But maybe Sony and Universal, especially Vivendi-owned Universal, are unwilling to stomach any more losses, estimated at least $30m. iTunes shows that the record companies can make their online money by offering their downloads through multiple stores. Just like the High Street.

Roxio meanwhile says it will spend $20m to relaunch Napster. It also expects the new business will "result in negative cash flows until the service is widely adopted". ®

Related stories

Roxio to buy Napster assets
PressPlay backs CD burning

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.