Major Music Labels Enlist Napster To Take On AppleMay 20th, 2008 | By James Lewin | Category: Digital Music, General, iPhone, iPods & Portable Media Players
You almost have to feel sorry for the mainstream music industry. Almost.
Yep – the labels are so intent on breaking Apple’s dominance in the world of digital music that they are giving Napster – the brand that RIAA head Hilary Rosen once called “both morally and legally wrong” – the opportunity to distribute more music as MP3 than Apple.
Per Napster’s announcement:
Napsterâ€™s download store is more than 50% larger than any other MP3 store and boasts not only the largest major label MP3 catalog in the industry, but also the largest library of independent music available anywhere. All Napster download sales in the U.S. will now be in the user-friendly, DRM-free MP3 format, which is compatible with virtually any MP3 player or music phone, including the iPod and the iPhone. Napster is the first music subscription service featuring major label content to offer 100% of its catalog in the MP3 format for download sales.
Pricing for download sales is 99 cents for single MP3 tracks and $9.95 for most MP3 albums.
Can Napster Make Doing What The Music Industry Wants You To Do Cool?
It’s great to see Apple getting some much-needed competition. It’s also great to see the music industry giving people what they want – digital music downloads that will work on any player.
It’s also a bit pathetic.
The music industry’s digital music initiatives have failed so miserably that they are stuck teaming up with their former nemesis – even giving Napster exclusive deals.
Even more pathetic is that the move is unlikely to make a dent in Apple’s iTunes sales. People haven’t demonstrated in any significant numbers that they care about music file formats or DRM yet – so it’s hard to imagine that they are going to start now.