Feeds

AT&T asks king's ransom for Napster tunes

Targets 'price insensitive' kiddies

The essential guide to IT transformation

AT&T hopes to fool the youth of America into paying way too much for digital music.

Today, the big-name telco announced that it will soon offer wireless access to Napster, the subscription-based digital music service. But it's ignoring the subscription bit. AT&T is giving certain cell phone owners the power to actually purchase and download songs from the service, charging $7.49 for a group of five tunes and $1.99 for individual tracks.

Yes, that price is high. But AT&T's director of premium content Rob Hyatt is confident that "young music fans" won't notice. "They're very price insensitive," he told The Associated Press. We tried to ask AT&T if he really said this, but the company refused to respond.

That five-for-$7.49 option is nothing new. AT&T already offers wireless downloads from another service, emusic, at exactly the same price. But the company has broken new ground in selling individual tunes for nearly two dollars a pop. That's the same price you'll find on Verizon's V Cast service, but it's more than twice the 99 cents charged by Sprint.

Yes, AT&T provides the cellular network for the Apple iPhone. But no, it won't offer this ridiculously-expensive Napster service on Steve Job's latest status symbol. That would make even less sense. The world is still waiting for the iPhone to provide wide-area cellular access to Apple's own music download service, iTunes.

Of course, there are other means of shuttling iTunes tracks onto your iPhone, including local-area WiFi networks. And just like Sprint, Apple charges only 99 cents a song. So, with its Napster announcement, AT&T is ignoring the good sense of both a partner and a competitor. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.