Friday, June 04, 2004

Napster joins UK online music fray

Napster - the brand most synonymous with the early heydey of peer-to-peer - has launched its music store for the UK.
Napster argues it is different by offering an
It is the latest to offer music lovers in Britain a legitimate download service in what is becoming a busy market.

Peter Gabriel's OD2 already offers music downloads and streaming services through Mycokemusic.com, Virgin Megastores, MSN, Tiscali and Wanadoo.
And the highly successful Apple iTunes is set to launch in the UK soon. Charles Grimsdale, chief of OD2, told BBC News Online he welcomed Napster's foot in the digital download door.
"The key issue is raising consumer awareness, that digital music is great value and a new experience," he explained.And Brad Duea, Napster's president, is not afraid of the competition. Play nice and share

Napster UK has all the elements any discerning digital music lover would expect for the money.
One can search for tracks and create and share playlists, and users can rip and merge existing CD libraries with downloaded tracks using the jukebox function.
The tracks are in Windows Media format, so they are compatible, and can be transferred to, a large proportion of portable players on the market, apart from Apple's iPod.
One can also choose to subscribe or pay-per-listen, and search for tracks by genre or other categories.

Mr Duea is confident that Napster UK offers "an immersive experience built on choice" for British music lovers, with a "peer-to-peer feel". It is not just the fact that for the price of a CD album, users can access thousands of tracks. "It is important to provide consumers with choice, and that will be increasingly important as the player market sees new products launched," Mr Duea explained to BBC News Online.
But as the market develops, rivals will be eagerly monitoring each other to work out what else they can do to make legitimate music download sites more attractive than free, peer-to-peer networks.

Ultimately, they will be refining the elements that will drive customer loyalty.

"The market is long, long way from being saturated," said Mr Grimsdale.

"There are fundamentally different offers around, and it will take some time for consumers to find the offer that is best suited to them."

It is a big potential market to win over. Somewhere in the region of a $36bn (£17bn) industry is moving online, according to Mr Duea. In the UK alone, it is a £2bn market.

The likes of Napster's flavour of an "immersive" experience leans towards a sense of an online community, which made Napster such an attractive service at its file-swapping peak.

The ability to share playlists, send selections to friends, or right click and buy a track from someone's playlist makes it "feel" like the old days of Napster.

OD2 is developing a community, sharing element for its services later this year.

"We are aware it is obviously something that worked for Napster and is something we will look to be developing later in the year," said Kathryn Leak, senior content manager for Virgin.

Brand power
There is no doubting that Napster remains a powerful brand though, but that is something OD2 is not concerned about.
"I would argue that our retail partners also have strong brand identity, and it is a range of brands," said OD2's Mr Grimsdale
"Not all of them are immediately associated with music, but we have a good balance.
"We see different kinds of consumer buying into a different retail channel and that is one of our strengths."

Virgin Megastores, for example, has seen its recent online service grow and, if anything, offering music downloads has strengthened its image, according to Ms Leak. "If you have a strong online presence, the increase footfall to your stores is more than worth it. We haven't seen sales decline because of the website, or the service." The real challenge is what can then be done once you have convinced consumers they should pay for their digital music. Mr Duea thinks download services could one day adopt the model that mobile phones have followed. The download service could become the service provider, offering the hardware to play your music on, for free. But for now, he argues that Napster is showing the future of peer-to-peer. "Often, when people are describing peer-to-peer, they are really describing the desire to have the ability to share music, to look at other peoples' collections, to communicate. "And we deliver that."

15 comments:

mp3 music sharing said...

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peer 2 peer said...

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filesharing software said...

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mp3 music sharing said...

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peer 2 peer said...

Hey --g//, nice blog site. Seems everybody has one of these blog sites except me. Even my sister has one, but she just likes to complain about everything....and I really mean everything. You know, the world sucks, etc...lol. She started it after her boyfriend dumped her. Originally I started out searching websites looking for filesharing software related info to improve the traffic at my site http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com; then I decided to try blog sites. There are so many of them it's unbelievable. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until last year. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks --g//, Mike

peer 2 peer said...

Hey --g//, nice blog site. Seems everybody has one of these blog sites except me. Even my sister has one, but she just likes to complain about everything....and I really mean everything. You know, the world sucks, etc...lol. She started it after her boyfriend dumped her. Originally I started out searching websites looking for mp3 music sharing related info to improve the traffic at my site http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com; then I decided to try blog sites. There are so many of them it's unbelievable. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until last year. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks --g//, Mike

peer to peer said...

Nice blog site g. While searching websites looking for peer 2 peer related info, I decided to try blog sites. Wow, there are so many of them it's amazing. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until last year. Now they're everywhere. And it seems like everybody but me has one. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a lttle bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks g, Mike

mp3 music sharing said...

Hi and hello there --g//, I get sidetracked easily these days. After spending many hours checking out websites looking for filesharing software related info. I decided to try some blog sites. I found much more usable and updated information on the blog related sites than the regular websites...this is very cool. I gotta get me one of these when I find the time. My site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com needed some updated info. After that, I thought I would check out some of the other kind of blog sites. Some are pretty cool. It's been fun. Thanks --g//, mike

mp3 music sharing said...

--g//. Some of these blog sites have more info on them than the regular websites. I've been searching websites looking for mp3 music sharing related info, I decided to try blog sites. And it seems like everybody has one but me. Anyway, I'm trying to improve the traffic flow to my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and needed more substantive information I could use but got sidetracked again. Back to my search. Had fun though. Thanks --g//, Mike

peer 2 peer said...

Hi there --g//. You know some of these blog sites have more info on them than regular websites. I've been searching websites looking for filesharing software related info, I decided to try blog sites. And it seems like everybody but me has one. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and needed more substantive information I could use. Got sidetracked a wee bitl. Had fun though. Thanks --g//, Mike

mp3 music sharing said...

Blogging is still new to me g. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until about 6 months ago. Wow, there are so many of them it's amazing. Now they're everywhere. And it seems like everyone has one but me. I was looking for websites with info about filesharing software. Then I decided to try blogs. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com for all the music and movie lovers out there, and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a lttle bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks g, Mike

peer to peer said...

Blogging is still new to me --g//. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until about 6 months ago. Wow, there are so many of them it's amazing. Now they're everywhere. And it seems like everyone has one but me. I was looking for websites with info about peer 2 peer. Then I decided to try blogs. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com for all the music and movie lovers out there, and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a lttle bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks --g//, Mike
Hi and hello there --g//, I get sidetracked easily these days. After spending many hours checking out websites looking for peer 2 peer related info. I decided to try some blog sites. I found much more usable and updated information on the blog related sites than the regular websites...this is very cool. I gotta get me one of these when I find the time. My site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com needed some updated info. After that, I thought I would check out some of the other kind of blog sites. Some are pretty cool. It's been fun. Thanks --g//, mike

peer to peer said...

Nice blog site ganesh v. While searching websites looking for mp3 music sharing related info, I decided to try blog sites. Wow, there are so many of them it's amazing. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until last year. Now they're everywhere. And it seems like everybody but me has one. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a lttle bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks ganesh v, Mike

p2p said...

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