Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/14/napster_pre-pay/

Dixons offers Napster UK pre-pay cards

Download top-ups coming to other retailers soon

By Tony Smith

Posted in Media, 14th October 2004 10:03 GMT

Napster UK has begun selling its pre-pay music download cards through retail partner Dixons, the first time the online music company has offered them in the UK.

Priced at £14.85, £56.95 and £25.95, the cards allow redeemers to download 15, 60 and an unlimited number of songs, respectively. The top-of-the-line card, however, is limited to three months' access, and presumably the songs become unplayable at the end of that period, unless the user extends their sub.

The cards offer discounts over Napster's standard pricing of £1.09 per song, or £9.95 a month for the subscription package. The card's monthly rate works out at £8.65; the other two cards effectively charge downloads at 99p and 95p, respectively.

All three cards went on sale in Dixons, PC World and Currys stores yesterday. A Napster spokesman told The Register that the company plans to send them out to other retailers "very soon".

The retail group and Napster hope the cards will appeal to consumers used to pre-pay mobile phone cards, and to parents who want to allow their kids to download music but don't want to give their offspring carte blanch on their credit cards.

Apple's approach, but contrast, is to offer gift certificates in a range of values from £5 to £100, which can also be set up to be automatically paid into an iTunes account on a monthly basis.

Wippit offers gift certificates too, offering a year's subscription for £30 or $43. For its a la carte downloads, the service allows punters to pay for songs by mobile phone text message, essentially transferring the cost of the download to their monthly invoices. ®

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