Circuit City and Napster partner on music service

Circuit City has announced a partnership with Napster that realizes a subscription music service dubbed "Circuit City + Napster" which will offer "all the same great music discovery and community features such as personalized recommendations, message boards, and the ability to browse other members' collections and share music and play lists" as Napster currently offers. The service will launch on April 29 on a special page on Circuit City's web site, and there will be information available to customers about Circuit City + Napster on both the main page and in retail stores. Just like the current Napster-To-Go subscription model, Circuit City + Napster subscribers will have unlimited access to the service's music offerings on both their PCs and supported digital music players for $14.95 per month. They will also have the option to purchase individual songs for 99¢ apiece. New subscribers will receive one free month and five free song downloads.

It appears that Circuit City + Napster is essentially Napster with another marketing strategy that aims to expand the service's user base. "Circuit City's strength both in consumer electronics and as a music retailer should be an ideal environment to introduce Napster's industry leading music subscription service," said Napster CEO Chris Gorog in a statement. This move by Circuit City and Napster is almost a direct mirror of Best Buy's partnership with Real for its Rhapsody last year. There, too, Best Buy's offering was practically identical to that of Real's, and the service didn't exactly begin to expand as successfully as hoped. Napster has managed to pull ahead of the others and become the number one subscription-based service in the world, so perhaps Circuit City + Napster may just do better than Rhapsody and Best Buy.

News source: Ars Technica

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