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Napster has begun its life as an independent company, following the completion of the sale of former parent Roxio's software operation.

Roxio's stock began trading under the NAPS ident yesterday as the company dropped its old name the better to reflect its sole focus on digital media.

And with the software side of the business gone, we now get a (slightly) better picture of how Napster - the digital music enterprise - is doing. The company reckons it will report revenues of around $11m for the three months to 31 December 2004, up 18.3 per cent from the previous quarter's $9.3m.

During Q2 FY2005, Roxio's digital music operation cost around $7.5m. That seems unlikely to change in the most recently completed quarter, Q3 FY2005. Taking other overheads into account, Napster seems certain to report a loss for the period, despite that double-figure revenue growth.

Having sold the software operation for $72.3m in cash and, at 17 December 2004, $13.6m worth of Sonic Solutions (the purchaser) shares, Napster ended Q3 with over $130m in the bank. So it has plenty of room to sustain a loss while it works on building its revenue base. ®

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