Feeds

Napster hoists 'For Sale or For Partner' sign

Can we offer you a cute logo and losses?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A brave Napster is willing to keep pounding away at the unprofitable online music market. Er, unless someone wants to buy the company.

Napster today revealed that it has hired UBS Investment Bank to sort through partnership and acquisition proposals for the company. Rumors of such a play first appeared in February, at which time Napster CEO Chris Gorog vehemently denied that the company was seeking a buyer. It would seem that hemorrhaging cash over the past seven months has changed Gorog's - forgive us for this - tune.

Sort of.

"Napster is in a strong position to continue aggressively building our business as an independent company and we are pleased to also have the opportunity to thoughtfully examine potential combinations that may further enhance Napster's unique strategic and brand position in the center of digital media," Gorog said. "Our goal is to enhance shareholder value which could potentially lead to a new strategic partnership or the sale of the company but in any event our primary focus will remain on growing Napster."

In the near-term, Napster's public flirtation with potential suitors has sure done the trick. Shares of Napster surged more than 12 per cent, at the time of this report, to $4.00 in the after-hours markets.

Try as it might, Napster has failed to develop anything resembling a healthy business model since it went "legal" with a music subscription service. The company claims $100m in annual revenue and more than 500,000 subscribers. Such totals haven't been enough for Napster to turn a profit, and the company continues to eat away at its cash stockpile, which is now down to $97m. In its most recent quarter, Napster lost another $10m.

To be fair, most of the subscription players have struggled to find the black. Apple has taken the vast majority of profits in the online music realm via the iPod. Meanwhile, the subscription crowd - and Apple via iTunes - must fight over a few pennies per song in profit.

You have to wonder if Napster's customer base is really worth the effort for a company such as Microsoft or even Real. The Napster brand has all the gravitas of a Che Guevara t-shirt.

You can keep putting lipstick on a dead cat, but it's still a dead cat, as the saying goes.

But in these days of bubbling Web 2.0 jargon and loose venture capital, we're sure some company full of ambition will be willing to take on Napster's business model and college music freeloaders. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.