Napster 2.0 UK is live at last, just beating Apple to first over the line, though Apple might well have the last laugh. Napster finally has deals in place with all five major record labels, plus the Association of Independent Music and high street retailer Dixons.
Dixons will be selling Napster-branded CD-Rs in their stores. Could someone please send a pack of those back through time to the RIAA and take a photograph of their faces? Thank you.
Napster is currently offering 500,000 tracks to customers, but promises this will rise to 700,000 next month.
The big surprise with Napster is the price: a track from Napster UK costs twice the price of the equivalent from the US iTunes Music Store. At a time when most music services are charging US$0.99 (€0.82, UK£0.55) for a track, Napster are charging non-subscribers a staggering UK£1.09 (€1.62) per track – the equivalent of charging US$1.94.
Buying a subscription for UK£9.95 (€14.80) a month allows users to download tracks for UK£0.88, but this is still 62% more than the iTunes cost – without taking the subscription price into account. It looks like OD2’s sale was a good idea after all.
A 7-day free trial of the Napster service is available from the link below.