Napster revamped

An article in Smart Money discusses the renewal going on over at Napster, which is apparently prepared to invade the U.S. mobile music market aggressively.

One interesting new feature is called NapsterLinks, a way for users to share music, something surely designed to resonate with Napster’s brand and reputation. Some analysts (quoted in the article) think this function could save the company a lot of money on marketing, and help build their audience virally. From the article:

“One of the new site’s most compelling features is the ability to share/link music (via blogs and email) on a peer-to-peer basis, in turn giving the company a viral way to promote its brand and drive incremental traffic to its site,” (Darren) Aftahi wrote in a note published Monday. “In our view, this new strategy should translate into incremental ad-based revenue and a cheaper means to upsell the company’s subscription music service.” The cost of an unlimited monthly subscription to Napster ranges from $9.95 to $14.95.

The article also makes note of Napster’s partnership with mobile-phone maker Ericsson, a company that has been leading the pack in transforming mobile phones into media players.

Combine this with the brand legacy of the Walkman that Sony brings to the table, and we may have a viable contender for dominance in the North American mobile music industry.

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