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Napster readies German music service

Latest funding may drive game, video subscriptions too.

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Napster will launch a German online store "later this year", the digital music company said today.

The move follows the raising of $52.2m through a private placement of shares with institutional investors, which is expected to complete today.

Napster will use the proceeds to for business development, such as the formal launch of Napster To Go, its Windows Media 10-based portable music subscription service.

Reports today suggest Napster is also exploring movie and game downloads. This is a smart move, although one that risks diluting "the biggest brand in digital music". As always, execution will be the key to success.

UK-based music service Wippit already offers a range of software downloads.

The push into Germany kicked off with the appointment of former Deutsche Telekom ISP T-Online music content chief Thorsten Schliesche to run the Frankfurt-headquartered German service. Napster will launch in the country sometime in 2005. ®

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