Apple iTunes Music Store dominates beleaguered distant number 2 Napster

“The original big dog in digital music has turned into a pussycat. Roxio’s reincarnation of Napster as a subscription music service has produced millions of dollars in losses, shakeups in the executive suites, and now job layoffs, according to the San Jose Mercury News. A spokeswoman said the company was ‘eliminating redundancies in the organization,’ and did not specify the number of jobs cut, the report added,” Frank Barnako reports for

“Part of the reason for troubles at Napster may simply be that the online music business is tough. Profit margins are slim. Napster appears to be the fourth largest music service with an estimated 90,000 subscribers, the report said. Insiders at two of the major music labels told the News that Napster sells only about 25 percent of the tracks that Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store does. ‘I think it’s a very competitive market with very ugly economics,’ commented Steven B. Frankel, managing director of Adams, Harkness and Hill, a Boston investment bank,” Barnako reports.

Full article here.


  1. I haven’t tried the alternatives to iTunes Music Store, so I don’t know how the subscriptions work. Pay per month? What’s the cost after that? Anyone actually tried any of these guys?

  2. Worse. Napster is number two in downloads and number four in subscription sales. Every other service is doing worse numbers than Napster. iTunes has clearly won, as has the iPod. Let the bloodletting begin!!!

  3. Here kitty,kitty…….

    My wifes late Valentines present – a lime green mini – is on the FedEx truck right now. She has no idea. My daughter told her she was getting Johnny Depp.

  4. The iTunes Music Store along with iTunes software is just so vastly superior to the others. Even without the store, the iTunes Jukebox is an awesome piece of software on both Windows and Mac. Besides the burning, the sharing is really cool. The Store is just heads and shoulders better than anyone else.

  5. Napster is just so awful, the only thing worse than it’s standard interface is trying to get the Windows Media Player 9 plug in to work, and their DRM eats huge amounts of CPU cycles during playback, poorly executed all the way around. Now iTunes on the other hand is elegant and easy to use, nothing even comes close.

  6. “The bed was on fire when they decided to lay on it” I dont think the online music market could be better described. Thats great. bob670, I would believe you about the windows media player DRM, but where did you read about that? I would like to read it myself.

  7. When Napster folds, those students will have no more music–but the money they spent won’t be returning. (Although some students will still have something to show for it if they paid the EXTRA cost to burn CDs or use portable players.)

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