But hold on. The cat in the Napster logo hasn’t run out of lives just yet. It sells far fewer songs at its online store than Apple, which sells roughly 75% of the 3 million songs that are sold online each week. But Gorog points out that based on the latest weekly data from Neilsen SoundScan, Napster’s share equals all other rivals combined, including services from Wal-Mart (WMT ), MusicMatch, and Best Buy (BBY ). He says the data show that Napster 2.0 is holding its No. 2 position against Apple in this music-download business.
Napster could start to increase market share in the more profitable business of selling monthly subscriptions, where customers can listen to — but not own — as many songs as they want each month for $9.95. While Napster is far behind RealNetworks’ (RNWK ) Rhapsody service, AOL’s (TWX ) MusicNet, and others, it’s taking the lead again in the old Napster’s stomping ground: college campuses. [emphasis added]
The Slashdot comment that says it all for me:
College Endorsement (Score:4, Insightful)
by screwballicus (313964) on Tuesday March 02, @03:10PM (#8444085)
(Last Journal: Sunday December 22, @02:35PM)
From the article:
Penn State University and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music intend to offer free Napster subscriptions to thousands of students in coming months. These are just pilot programs, and Roxio granted big discounts that will keep profits negligible at best, say insiders. But the hope is that the students will become paying customers for years to come. “Smart,” says Kenswill.
A college endorsing and paying for a private entertainment service of this sort? This is a school of music, but billing Napster as academic resource seems a little questionable. Unless I miss my guess, Napster’s unlikely to have deals with the world’s great bastions of classical music performance. Another example of an academic institution adopting a policy of private endorsement.
Earlier Furdlog posting: Another University Selects the Napster Brand