Following the launch of Napster 2.0 last week, Roxio have announced the services activity after the first week. They sold over 300,000 individual songs and have signed up undefined “thousands” of subscribers to their $9.95/month Premium service.
Elliot Carpenter, Roxio’s Chief Financial Officer commented,
“From a financial perspective, the first week’s performance of Napster provides a strong indication of the size of our opportunity. Both the growth rate of premium subscribers and the volume of individual track sales support our financial objectives and should bode well for the future.”
Reading between the lines, it doesn’t look like they have been overjoyed. Phrases like “bode well for the future” and “indication” somewhat give it away.
As a spoiling tactic, Apple announced that over the same period, they have sold 1.5 million tracks on iTunes, bringing the total number of tracks sold to 17 million. Apple reported selling over one million tracks in their first week.
Napster also announced a deal with Penn State University, which, from January 2004, will provide access to the Napster Premium service to all of their students. The offer will also extended to their 150,000 strong alumni association.
Penn State received a lot of press back in May this year when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) incorrectly sent them letters accusing some of their students holding illegal MP3’s. Apparently the Record Industry’s legal department confused the works of pop star “Usher” with retired faculty member Peter Usher’s work on radio-selected quasars (the server also hosted a legal MP3). The RIAA later apologised for the mix up.