Competition in Music eTailing

Napster’s ‘rental’ music service takes on iTunes

The company said its Napster To Go service would go live Thursday, charging $14.95 for the ability to download an unlimited number of songs and take them onto compatible MP3 players. The songs would be playable only as long as a subscriber keeps paying for the service.

The company will kick off a $30 million marketing campaign for the service with a Super Bowl advertisement running this Sunday, aimed at contrasting the new offer with Apple Computer’s iTunes store, a spokeswoman said.

Napster’s new service, which has been operating in a limited “preview” format for several months, is the first major iTunes rival to take advantage of copy-protection software from Microsoft that expands the flexibility of music subscription services.

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