Feeds

Napster UK touts subscriber numbers

As major music retailers launch rival services

Boost IT visibility and business value

Napster UK's 750,000 users have downloaded or streamed 55m tracks since the service launched in May 2004, the digital music provider said today.

The announcement comes on the day High Street music retailer HMV opened the virtual doors on its own digital download and subscription service. Virgin Digital went live in the UK this past Friday.

To date, Napster UK's main competitor has been Apple's iTunes Music Store. But with Virgin and now HMV both targeting the same iPod-free Windows Media market in which Napster is a player they are arguably more of a threat than ITMS is.

Hence Napster's release of subscriber figures today, the first time the company has made such statistics public.

The company said 80 per cent of its subscribers are over the age of 25, and half of them have kids. Some three-quarters of them are male.

In a bid to stress the importance of subscriptions, Napster said its subscribers buy more music online than folk who buy one-off downloads do, though since many of them will need to do so to burn tracks to CD or transfer them to digital music players, that's not perhaps surprising. One in five of them no longer buy CDs, apparently.

Indeed, Napster's claim implies that subscribers are using their 'all you can eat' packages more to sample music than to acquire it. That suggests they appreciate the benefits of owning music as well as the advantages of the unlimited download subscription. More to the point, if subscriptions are being used at least in part as a glorified sampling service, that undermines the arguments that subscription-derived downloads should be included in official chart statistics.

Speaking at the Virgin launch last week, Virgin's e-commerce chief, Steve Kincaid, admitted the company has a challenge ahead of it to evangelise the benefits of subscriptions. Virgin, for one, accepts that consumers do not see music subscriptions in the same light as they see subscriptions to, say, digital TV services. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.