BestBuy has re-launched Napster and it's trying a new untested business model. The basic premise of the cheapest plan is that you can get unlimited streaming of music, keep 5 DRM free MP3's each month for $5.00. This equates to $1.00 per song but you're limited to choosing five songs a month.
The idea behind the program is that you will stream cd quality music to your computer or possibly your device but here is where things get interesting/unclear. The press release is dated May 19th so the actual plan is not live yet and there are many questions that are left unanswered.
It does not state in the press release if it will work natively on the iPod Touch or the iPhone. Also, it appears that there are other packages available. One of the many questions regarding the service is: does the user have to be connected to the Internet for the music to play or is it no wifi no music?
BestBuy could have a potential rival to the Zune Pass on their hands but the early press release leaves many details unanswered. Check back to Neowin tomorrow when hopefully more details will be available.
Full Press Release:
Napster Offers MP3s With its Popular On-Demand Streaming Service for One Low Monthly Price
LOS ANGELES – MAY 19, 2009 – Napster, the pioneer of digital music, today unveiled its latest music offering combining the freedom of MP3s with the discovery benefits of a high-quality streaming music service – all for one low price. For as little as $5 per month, Napster users get five unrestricted MP3 downloads, and unlimited access to Napster's award-winning on-demand music streaming service.
Music fans now have the best of both worlds: MP3s to keep forever, play, transfer and burn as much as they like, as well as unlimited music listening from Napster's catalog of more than seven million tracks. "There's no need to settle for 30-second clips to decide if you want to buy a song," said Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster. "For five bucks now you can have access to our entire music catalog and get five MP3s to add to your permanent collection."
Napster users can now:
· Get five MP3s each month to download, with their choice of songs from the Napster MP3 library that covers all types of music from all the major labels and includes the largest catalog of independent artists available.
· Listen to any track, as often as they like, in CD quality from Napster's catalog of more than seven million songs.
· Choose from more than 60 commercial-free radio stations and more than 1,400 expertly programmed playlists.
· Discover new music and artists through personalized recommendation tools.
· Enjoy the top hits from more than 50 years of Billboard charts. Want to know what was popular when you graduated high school? Now you can.
· Play MP3s on any MP3 player, including iPod®, iPhone® and music-enabled MP3 mobile phones.
"A decade ago, Napster revolutionized the way people discovered and enjoyed music," said Julie Owen, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. "The brand that started it all is shaking things up again with this new service that provides music lovers continued access to the entertainment experience they've come to expect of Napster and Best Buy."
The new Napster offering is now available for U.S. residents at www.napster.com