“Even though its Super Bowl ads were among the more forgettable pitches Sunday night, a new and not-so-naughty Napster is definitely back. Last night, the company behind the brand that ushered in the era of illegal music downloads reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $0.36 a share on $12.1 million in revenue,” Rick Aristotle Munarriz writes for The Motley Fool. “Granted, the profit was strictly due to the one-time gain the company recorded after it sold off its Roxio computer software business to Sonic Solutions back in December. Napster actually lost more money in its continuing namesake digital music business — $16.9 million — than it produced in subscription revenue.”
Munarriz writes, “You may be ready to shake your head at the company’s decision to blow through about a month and change of its revenue to run a pair of ads during the big football game. But before you do, let’s give the company and its reinvention process some credit. It closed out December with 270,000 subscribers, and its portable ‘Napster To Go’ service that launched earlier this month is bound to draw fans of the digital-music buffet who like to take their streams with them. RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service, in contrast, is cheaper but still PC-shackled.”
“Since Apple Computer and Microsoft seem satisfied with selling songs individually or as a part of full albums, Napster’s portable smorgasbord may give it an edge — as long as folks are willing to ditch their iPods. That’s a major hurdle. Apple’s iTunes download store is successful because it’s the one source of legal iPod tunes — and Napster’s feast isn’t compatible with the iPod palate,” Munarriz writes. “While Napster’s service is compatible with many of the other portable MP3 players, like those from Dell Computer and Creative, you try telling Veruca Salt that she can’t have an iPod now, daddy.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Munarriz wites that Napster, “the brand that earned notoriety playing it naughty with illegal file swapping, deserves a chance to see what it can do when it plays nice.” Whatever. No matter how you look at it, Napster’s “iPodlessness” doesn’t bode well for its future and trying to tell people that an iPod will cost them $10,000 to fill up isn’t going to help. People aren’t generally that stupid. Perhaps they should have tried to use Apple’s iPod photo 60GB as a base and then they could’ve advertised that it would cost you $15,000 to fill your iPod with iTunes instead?
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Napster reports earnings of $12.8 million for quarter – February 09, 2005
Apple iTunes sees over 170-percent jump in traffic post-Super Bowl vs. Napster’s 30-percent increase – February 08, 2005
Pepsi’s iTunes Super Bowl ads place poorly in Ad Meter ranking; Napster ad places dead last – February 07, 2005
$10,000 to fill an iPod? Napster’s going to end up with egg on their face – February 04, 2005