Analyst: Napster To Go service no threat to Apple’s iTunes Music Store

“Napster is claiming its Napster To Go service ‘will change the music industry forever,’ according to Chris Gorge, Napster chairman and CEO. However, research group Forrester expects the service to herald a more prosaic shift,’ Matt Whipp reports for PC Pro.

“Paul Jackson, principle analyst at Forrester said that he expects, ‘subscription services will make a slight comeback’, but added the caveat that ‘they won’t replace per-track services.’ In the case of Napster To Go, once customers stop their subscription, they DRM kicks in to prevent them from listening to any of the music they downloaded while it was still active. Jackson described the service as ‘halfway between a radio station and downloading tracks’. However, he expected that subscribers will end up with certain tracks they’ll want to keep, and will be wary of the potential of losing them. ‘That is a barrier to those that consider themselves music fans,’ he said,” Whipp reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, if it doesn’t work with iPod, which Napster To Go doesn’t, it’ll have a tough row to hoe.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Why ‘Napster To Go’ will flop – February 03, 2005
Napster CEO: We’re ‘the biggest brand in digital music, much more exciting than Apple’s iTunes’ – February 03, 2005
Napster tries to push music subscription service over pay-for-download iTunes-like model – February 03, 2005
Apple Computer could sell 21 million iPod shuffle units in 2005 – January 19, 2005
Cornell University’s Mac users ‘uniformly unhappy’ with Napster – January 19, 2005
Analyst: Apple’s iTunes Music Store ‘downloads could reach 474 million in calendar 2005’ – December 17, 2004
Study: Apple iTunes Music Store dominates with 70 percent market share, second place Napster holds 11 percent – October 19, 2004
Cornell University wrestles with Napster’s exclusion of Mac and iPod-using students – September 08, 2004
Why are Cornell’s Mac students being forced to pay for useless Napster? – September 07, 2004
Napster schools to Mac-using students: bend over and take it – September 04, 2004
Napster CEO: ‘it would be great’ if Apple iPod supported WMA – March 09, 2004
Napster CEO: Apple iTunes, iPod ‘consumer-unfriendly experiences’ – March 09, 2004
Microsoft tries to push WMA by propping up beleaguered Napster – February 25, 2004


  1. I’m betting [five] bucks that Napster and their ilk will never publicly release their sales numbers – because they’ve already lost. It will be too embarrassing for them to admit it.

  2. Was just reading low end mac. Apple turns around napster’s claim: if you really like one song, that song costs you $15/mo, $120/year, $1200/decade. I’m hoping to live 50 years so that’s $6000 for one song.

  3. I agree with Chris Gorge: Napster To Go service ‘will change the music industry forever’. After its resounding flop no one in the music industry will attempt losing tons of money on a similar project again. For ever.

  4. This information is not a shocker. (does hand gesture)

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    I’d want the competition to stop, but it’s actually more fun to watch them flail about.

  5. All it will take is one person writing an application that takes audio from the songs and converts it to a non-DRM format that they can share for free. Well, Audio Hijack would work but you’d have to wait for each song to play, and you’d have to script it to start and stop after each song and all that, but it would work. If that happens, well, say goodbye to Napster.

  6. Since Napster really doesn’t work with Mac and iTunes, most of the users of Napster will be Windows users; if audio hacking software is written, it will be written for windows; therefore, music piracy lives!! Yes folks, once that enterprising someone out their writes this little hack, it’ll become the #1 download off BitTorrent; then, the Real Napster will be back!!

  7. Do this math:

    10 million ipods

    250 million songs sold at iTMS

    = 25 paid downloads per player

    The remainder: Ripped from CDs and/or downloaded illegally.

    Result: Cheaper to load a player with music from a variety of sources rather than from any 1 particular corporate offering. Let’s be honest, that’s what everybody is doing.

  8. The Napster to Go service is spyware based, it logs everything that you play and reports back to base when you connect to reauthorise your player every month. This enables the music industry to get their micropayment for each play of each track.

    I wonder what it makes of the other files you have on your player, what other software do you run. Only for legitimate reasons of course, to check that no pirated music is being stored or DRM breaking software present. Maybe extend that to check for Word and Excel documents created by unlicensed software and content searches for words like nuclear and allah. Well even the Patriot Act wouldn’t let them do that, would it?

    Could this spyware system be hacked, it’s unlikely to be easy, there’s money involved here so the system’s very robust. But can we be confident that software and our data storage are secure? It’s important to remember the software vendor isn’t Napster, it’s Microsoft, the company known for it’s record of bug ridden and insecure software.

  9. “i love apple!”- that would never happen, not only because apple’s not in it for the music sales but for thr hardware and also the music store prices aren’t controlled by apple, it’s the music companies that decide how things should be disturbuted.

    magic word freedom- as in window freedom for all pc users is about to start!

  10. i love apple but it’s just another enterprise,

    under you “scary thought” idea, I guess I would have to continue buying CDs…. I’m not sure where your “scary” part enters into the equation.


  11. “Here is a scary thought. What if one day Apple eliminates all competitions and started to charge $5.00 per song?”

    That’s not a scary thought because it would never happen. No one in their right mind would pay $5.00 per song when you can always get the CD for less than $20.00, so they’d never try it.

    “Napster is claiming its Napster To Go service ‘will change the music industry forever,’ according to Chris Gorge” (I thought his last name was Gorog?)

    How is it going to change the industry forever if no one uses it? Chris, the flapping noise you hear is the vultures. They can smell you already.

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