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Napster Launches In Japan
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 at 9:45 AM - by
Napster and Tower Records Japan have teamed up to launch Napster Japan. The companies are looking to take on Apple's iTunes Store and other cell phone-based music download services, according to the Washington Post.
Napster Japan will offer a monthly subscription fee-based model that costs users 1,980 yen (about US$16.80), and will include about 1.5 million songs. In addition to the subscription service, Napster Japan will offer individual song downloads.
In addition to competition from Apple, Napster will also have to contend with the fact that the majority of music service users download songs directly to their cell phones instead of portable media players. Like in the United States, Napster's download service will require a compatible MP3 player.
Napster Japan hopes to have a million subscribers within three years, and to be selling about a million individual song downloads by March 2007.
In September, Napster announced that it hired the investment banking firm UBS to negotiate a possible company sale. So far, the company has been unable make a profit with the various music service models it has tried.
Tower Records Japan is operated independently of Tower Records in the U.S. The U.S. company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.
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