Feeds

Virgin Radio touts Napster chart deal

Nothing to do with Branson's Virgin Digital

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

UK station Virgin Radio is to begin broadcasting weekly chart rundowns based on Napster's online single sales figures, even as the Virgin Group's own digital music business, Virgin Digital, prepares to launch in the US and UK.

Napster announced the tie-in today. Virgin Radio will begin presenting the company's top 20 sales chart over the airwaves on 29 August at 7PM. The chart will be based on one-off downloads, tracks chosen by subscribers and songs streamed in their entirety.

Dubbed "the first step" in a "strategic marketing partnership" between Virgin Radio and Napster, the deal is a something of a coup for the online music service.

Virgin Radio is actually owned by the Scottish Media Group, which acquired the station from the Ginger Media Group in 2000. In turn, GMG bought it from Richard Branson's Virgin Group in 1998.

So while Virgin Radio is now nothing to do with the Virgin Group - and Virgin Digital - many consumers may inevitably link the two companies. So Napster becomes connected with the flamboyant Mr Branson in punters' minds, even though no such connection exists, at least on the basis of this particular deal.

Virgin Radio, on the other hand, gets a connection with the increasingly important - to the media, at least - online music market. It is clearly assuming that digital music is going to become more popular with its key demographic, the thirtysomethings who tune in to its AOR programming.

Actually, the same could be achieved by a partnership with Apple - which is believed to have more customers than Napster, and thus is a more sound basis for an online chart compilation. As such, Napster's sales are hardly "the most comprehensive assessment of online music tastes" as both it and Virgin Radio claim.

In any case, the official UK download chart is due to be launched in four weeks' time. The official chart only counts "permanent digital downloads", which rules out streams and subscription-sold downloads, though the latter qualify for a separate "digital bundle chart".

Neither Virgin Radio nor Napster discussed the underlying terms of the deal. Napster, however, recently punted $10m in stock to US retailer Best Buy for a cross-promotional deal. Just as the Best Buy deal isn't exclusive, neither is the Virgin Radio tie-in, which just names Napster as a "premier", not sole partner. ®

Related stories

Napster offers cut-price grooves to grunts
Napster pays BestBuy $10m to promote music service
Roxio sells software core, adopts Napster shell
What went wrong at Wright State when Napster arrived
More universities agree to RIAA/Napster 'protection'
Virgin Digital sets US, UK debut dates

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.