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February 17, 2011

Napster App (Beta) Now Available for BlackBerry™

Napster App on BlackBerry We are excited to announce that Napster App (Beta) is now available for BlackBerry™ OS version 5.0 users!  We’ll be offering additional versions soon.

Featuring unlimited on-demand streaming of over 12 million full-length songs for $10 per month, music lovers can sign up for Napster with mobile access and listen instantly to any and all of them as often as they like, in the order they want, from wherever they are.

With Napster plus mobile access, members can save songs, playlists, and albums to their mobile devices and enjoy their favorite music even when not connected. Here are some key Napster plus mobile access features:

• Save songs, albums, and playlists to enjoy even when listening offline
• Kick back with playlists, recommendations, and Billboard® charts
• Create playlists for a customized listening experience
• Automix favorite songs to create instant playlists blending similar artists

Napster is available on any connected computer, compatible TV, Blu-ray™ player or other compatible home audio product, as well as on iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad®, and Android™ devices — and now in beta for BlackBerry™ OS version 5.0  — all available at Best Buy and other retailers.

To get the Napster app for BlackBerry™, text “NAPSTERBB” to 332211 or go to m.napster.com/bb from your Blackberry

Please check back again soon for updates, or visit napster.com.

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October 01, 2010

Neil Young, Le Noise

Neil Young, Le Noise Although his new album is billed as a solo project (there's no Crazy Horse along for the ride on this one), Le Noise is a two-man show, with Neil Young ably supported by producer Daniel Lanois, who not only handled the recording tasks typical for the job, but also provided the custom electro-acoustic guitar that Young plays throughout the album. Le Noise is Young's 34th solo studio project, and while he never strays too far from topical subject matter, the album has a more personal tone than his last few overtly political collections, Living with War and Fork in the Road. The recent losses of collaborators Larry "L.A." Johnson and Ben Keith weigh heavily on the proceedings, and can be felt in both the strictly acoustic songs "Peaceful Valley Boulevard" and "Love and War," as well as the heavier opening song "Walk with Me" and crunchy "Angry World."

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May 06, 2010

New on Napster: Facebook “Like” Buttons on Artist, Album, and Playlist Pages

We are proud to announce that we added two new features to Napster today.

First, it’s time to get “socially” responsible. Yep, Napster just got more social. You can now “Like” artists, albums and Napster playlists, sharing your music tastes and finds with friends via your Facebook profile. For example, if you click "Like" on the new Usher album, Raymond v. Raymond, your friends will see this activity on your Facebook profile. If one of your friends clicks the link on Facebook, they will be taken to the album page on Napster, where they can play up to five songs (in their entirety!) from the album. It's a great way to introduce your friends to hot new music, or even your favorite oldies.

If you're logged into Facebook already, "Liking" your favorites is one click away. If you're not logged in, Napster will ask you to log in to enable sharing.

As you browse through the Napster site, you can also see your Facebook friends who have clicked "Like" on any album, artist, or playlist. We see this as a great way to bring two key parts of life—friends and music—together in a fun way. Bringing Facebook into Napster was an easy choice, as we know that the majority of Napster members are also active Facebook users.


The second new feature we've added is a handy persistent display of your current Napster song credit balance in the main site header. Whenever you're signed in, your song credit balance appears in the upper-left corner of the Napster window, next to your member name, so you'll always be able to see at a glance how many credits you have available. The balance is updated when you use your credits and refreshed according to your Napster membership plan (monthly and/or upon renewal).

 

That's it for now. Happy listening!

Bill Coats

Sr. Product Manager

P.S.—Listen to the track, "It's Working" by MGMT - click    on the album or artist to try the new feature out!

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January 06, 2010

A Note from Napster CEO Chris Gorog

Today is my last day as CEO of Napster after having helped build the service over the last eight years. I am leaving the leadership of Napster to my close colleague Christopher Allen, who is a talented and deeply experienced digital media executive and who is passionate and devoted to the dream of Napster.


It has been a privilege to work with my colleagues over the years to try to deliver the best digital music service available to our customers.


We began with a simple idea – "legalizing Napster" – and spent almost a decade trying to perfect that dream.

It wasn’t always easy. We were criticized at times for "renting" music. But we thought then – and still believe quite strongly – that we had a better approach to digital music. Why buy downloads – when for a small monthly fee you can have access to – everything?


Well after a lot of years of chasing this dream of – unlimited access, anytime, anywhere – it seems to be catching on.

Thanks to our customer’s support – Napster now has many hundreds of thousands of music fans that really like "renting" music and this fan base keeps growing every day. Although our customers call it streaming. Streaming from their PC. Streaming from their IP connected TV. And streaming from their smart phones (coming soon!).


I believe over the next decade the idea of  "owning" entertainment content in the digital age will become a passé concept – replaced by paying a fair fee for access to – everything. All the music, movies, and games your heart desires.


I am proud that Napster has helped blaze this trail - creating the ultimate empowerment for consumers.

My heartfelt thanks to all of our loyal customers - particularly the early pioneers. And of course my deep gratitude to my colleagues and our partners that helped us experiment and innovate over the last decade.


Here’s to the next decade. Napster has many exciting things on the development road map. Check out the beta version of Napster’s new user interface. After you’ve acquainted yourself with the latest version of Napster – click on the Feedback button and tell Christopher what you think. Napster will always be getting better…


Thanks - for listening.


-CHRIS

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December 14, 2009

Napster Beta: Latest Updates

We’ve released another set of updates to the Napster beta site, and we’re excited to keep you in the loop about our efforts. A lot of the updates this time around are things that you hopefully won’t really notice, except that the site will just seem better. Fueled by turkey and cranberry over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been hard at work to make pages load faster, make messages clearer, and generally improve music playback.

That said, something you should look for is that we’ve been adding what we call “Quick Play” buttons in more places across the site. One of the great things about Napster is that you can pick and choose exactly what you want to hear, but we also know that sometimes you just want to kick back and listen. So, we’ve been adding these Quick Play buttons to the headers of different sections around the site; they do things like play all the songs in a Billboard chart, or play a mix of the featured music you’re looking at. This is just a start at some of the features we’re building to make it easier to start enjoying music on Napster. Let us know what you think!

—Adam Korman, Sr. Director, Interaction Design

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October 20, 2009

Introducing the New Napster—Now Open for Beta Testing!

We're very happy to be able to share an exciting new development with you: For some time now, we've been working on a whole new design for Napster based on suggestions from our members. The goal is to make finding, playing, and buying music easier and more fun. We like it a lot and hope you'll agree.

We're still testing and tweaking at this point, but we've opened up the beta version now in order to get as much additional feedback as possible. Your comments will help us make the new design even better, so if you're curious, please give the new Napster beta a try and send us your thoughts. If you're a Napster member, you can sign in with your existing member name and password.

Here are a couple of major areas we've been working on:

Search
We've heard that you want to find artists, albums, and songs as fast as possible. Napster’s improved search now includes auto-suggest results that appear as you type. When you see what you're looking for, one click takes you there. You can even play an Automix directly from the results.

Player
The new Napster has an embedded player that stays front-and-center no matter where you click on the site. When you add music to the player, the new pop-up player queue makes it all easier to see and manage. Drag and drop songs, make playlists,and even buy music right from the queue.

Again, once you've taken the new Napster beta for a spin, please send us feedback. Let us know what you think so we can make Napster the best it can be.

We'll be posting more about the new Napster beta in this space as we work to make improvements, so check back often. And we're looking forward to hearing from you, too. Thanks in advance for helping us build the best music experience online.

Try the New Napster Beta!

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September 08, 2009

Napster Teams with “A Chance for Children”

Yes, we're constantly working on new ways to offer a great interactive music experience here at Napster, but we also realize that it's up to us to help inspire the next generation, so they can do even better things. Napster recently teamed up with charitable foundation A Chance for Children to sponsor homeless or disadvantaged children in the Los Angeles area by getting them ready for the new school year with backpacks, supplies, clothes, and shoes! It was an extremely rewarding experience for all of us, and we were reminded that inspiring the next generation towards success and encouraging positive self-esteem is the only way that innovation will continue to thrive. We're planning on teaming up throughout the coming year with A Chance for Children, so stayed tuned for more. As the saying goes: “We know that kids go where there is excitement, but they stay where there is love.” It's humbling. Learn more about A Chance for Children here.

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September 01, 2009

We feel Napster subscribers should be able to access it anywhere - with no additional fees

Napster released a new mobile app today (see early blog post and press release) that enables Napster subscribers to redeem their tracks over their mobile phone. We think this is a great way to extend the value of a Napster subscription to the mobile platform.

Naturally we would like to bring the entire Napster subscription experience to the mobile platform so our members can not only redeem their tracks over-the-air – but we’d also like to provide on-demand streaming and provide members with access to their personal playlists and Napster’s radio stations and special programming.

So we’ve developed an app that is intended to be deployed on the iPhone, Blackberry and other smart phone platforms and we will be deploying the app as soon as we obtain the necessary rights.

Our view is that when music fans pay for a subscription to Napster – they should be able to access it anywhere without having to pay additional fees. Some folks at the labels support this approach, and we hope to gain the broad support we need to deploy – sooner than later.

We believe extending Napster’s on-demand streaming to the mobile platform will be a great enhancement to the Napster experience and will help us keep our customers happy and engaged – wherever they are.

Thanks. Let us know your thoughts on this…

-CHRIS GOROG, CEO

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June 01, 2009

The State of Digital Music: 10 Years after the Birth of Napster

Today is the 10th anniversary of the debut of the original Napster, the game-changing peer-to-peer file sharing service created by Shawn Fanning. A perfect day upon which to reflect what’s happened in the world of music this past decade and think about the future going forward.

In 1999, music lovers around the world immediately embraced Napster. It had never been easier to discover and acquire new music. While the original Napster hadn’t thought through how to protect artists’ rights, the experience was about much more than “free music.” Napster was about putting the control into consumers’ hands so they could find virtually any song they could think of and, as importantly, they could easily discover and enjoy new music. It quickly became an ever-expanding, very exciting world of music discovery. And it changed the music industry and entertainment business forever – overnight. In virtually one instant, all of the power belonged to the consumer.

Ever since the demise of the original Napster, the industry, technologists and entrepreneurs have been playing catch-up with countless efforts to replicate the excitement of the original Napster within a legal framework. What was once relatively simple became very challenging, as the task of properly respecting artists’ rights and insuring payment to the individual rights holders is complex. And the industry spent too many years trying to lock and protect content instead of focusing on a great consumer experience. The imposition of DRM created a nightmare of interoperability challenges and a lack of portability. That, combined with no comprehensive catalog, further thwarted the healthy development of legal digital music.

While it has taken almost 10 years to create legal music services that deliver some of the fundamental qualities of the original Napster, happily a lot of great progress has been made.  Consumers can, finally, legally buy an MP3 that can be played anywhere without restriction. When Napster re-launched as a legal service in the fall of 2003, we offered 500,000 songs.  Today we offer over eight million and feature catalogs of the four major record label and thousands of independents. You can now also stream millions of songs on-demand from any web connection, delivering on the technology dream of “the celestial jukebox.”

We are honored to have had the opportunity over the past 10 years to try to solve this extraordinary and exciting challenge of delivering the world’s music catalog to music fans around the globe - while at the same time insuring the artists that create this beautiful world of music can make a living.

So – that’s where we’ve been.  Let’s take a look at where digital music is today:

The prevailing legal business model today in digital music is the á la carte download store. We believe these types of music stores serve an important function as a place to purchase tracks, but they are not the best way to discover and enjoy music. Listening to 30-second clips and having to make a buying decision every time one wants to hear a song restricts the discovery and enjoyment of new artists and new genres. Whereas unlimited on-demand streaming services promote the discovery of new music and revitalize one’s enjoyment of music overall. When you add to this experience features such as genre, mood and topical playlists, programmed radio stations and automatic personalized playlist generation, the experience becomes a completely immersive one that enhances an individual’s music life. A complete music streaming service provides consumers with the “lean forward” experience of searching for music and organizing playlists, as well as the “lean back” experience of simply enjoying programmed music.

Over the last few years, free ad-supported streaming services have sprouted up all over the web, creating many buzz-worthy moments in the digital media world. While there are a number of interesting and useful free music discovery sites online today, most of them end up hobbling their services over time – with ads, play restrictions, poor bit rates and worse – deteriorating the original experience. Most challenging for these free services is that, as of yet, no service has “cracked the nut” and figured out how to create a profitable business model by giving away music for free. I believe a high-quality paid streaming experience is a great solution for many people, particularly since Napster was recently able to dramatically drive the price down to create an outstanding value. A great paid streaming experience like Napster provides high quality on-demand streaming without ads, play restrictions, poor bit rates and the like, and represents a great alternative to some of the pitfalls of the free services.

With Napster’s new offering introduced on May 18, we believe we bring the best of both worlds together. Five bucks each month gets you 5 MP3s that will work on virtually any device available – plus – a premium on-demand music streaming experience. It may have taken 10 years to do it, but this is the closest we’ve ever come to delivering on the free-wheeling discovery and enjoyment offered by the original Napster. Napster users can even share songs and playlists back and forth to continue enhancing discovery and making the experience a highly personal one. “My Page” customizes the Napster experience for users so they can enjoy their own personal version of Napster based on their actual interaction with the service.  While we always have a lot more we want to do, we think Napster is in a great place right now.

As we think about the future, our bottom-line thesis is that we think it’s all going to be about unlimited, on-demand streaming. Downloads will of course continue to have an important role, but we as an industry have not even scraped the surface on how prevalent on-demand streaming will become. Once you connect Napster to your home entertainment system and have on-demand access to virtually every song you can think of, there's no turning back. Many of our customers can’t imagine life without it – and neither can we!

Thanks for dropping in. It’s been a very interesting and exciting decade in digital music – and I’m guessing there’s a lot of intrigue ahead of us as well. One thing for sure – music fans have never had more opportunities to discover and enjoy music. 

So, as we begin now to look forward to the next 10 years, what are your thoughts about what we might see going forward?  What do you think about music today?  How do you see it evolving? What do you hope for in the future?

-Chris

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April 07, 2009

Napster Now Offering $.69 MP3s

Starting today in the US, you'll find MP3s from Napster for only $.69. Our catalogue of more than seven million MP3s is now for sale at various prices, instead of one price across all titles. Ranging in price from $.69-1.29, all MP3s remain unrestricted. You can download, share and listen to them anywhere and as often as you like.

Variable pricing means more choice and better value for you. With tracks as low as $.69, you can buy and enjoy more for less.

As with the Napster streaming service, we work hard to provide the best music listening experience at the best price. Listen to millions of songs anytime for only $12.95/month and download MP3s from $.69-1.29 to keep, play, transfer, and burn.

International markets will see similar MP3 pricing in the near future.

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