Napster and XM Satellite Radio today announced a long-term, strategic partnership that will take the digital music experience to new heights with the integration of their satellite radio and online music services for listening online and on a variety of MP3 players.
The collaboration will debut with the launch of “XM + Napster,” the first online service to provide a single interface for accessing, purchasing, and managing music from XM and Napster. “XM + Napster” will be the exclusive, integrated service for digital music subscriptions and downloading for XM’s 4.4 million-plus subscribers. XM subscribers will be able to dive deeper into the catalog of artists they enjoy and discover new music via “XM + Napster.”
The co-branded “XM + Napster” service will be marketed by XM and Napster, and launched in the fourth quarter of 2005 in conjunction with the availability of new XM/MP3 players with XM’s Connect and Play technology, which will give XM subscribers the ability to listen to XM’s 150-plus channels of live programming on the player, in the car or at home, store songs in the player’s memory, and mark the songs they like for future reference or online purchase.
When the XM/MP3 player is connected to a PC, the “XM + Napster” service will match the marked XM song titles with Napster’s massive music catalog; available songs can be purchased individually for on-demand listening and transferred to the player for a completely portable experience. The “XM + Napster” service will also enable XM subscribers to manage their entire digital music collection in one location, giving them the freedom to create playlists that contain music from a variety of sources.
In addition, the “XM + Napster” service will allow XM subscribers who listen to XM Radio Online, the Internet radio service that offers more than 70 XM music channels, to listen to music they hear on XM and purchase music for transfer to a variety of compatible MP3 players.
“XM + Napster” lets XM subscribers enjoy unparalleled flexibility. XM Satellite Radio allows subscribers to discover new music and rediscover favorites, and the “XM + Napster” service gives them access to Napster’s massive catalog for on-demand listening. XM subscribers can pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited Napster tracks or they can purchase individual songs.
“The combination of the ‘XM+ Napster’ service with new XM/MP3 players will provide XM subscribers with the ultimate 360-degree music experience,” said Hugh Panero, XM president and CEO in the press release. “Today, XM subscribers can effortlessly discover and listen to any kind of music, and soon they will be able to effortlessly access, purchase, and manage their music with ‘XM+Napster’ and the new XM/MP3 players.”
“Napster is excited to work with XM to create a cutting-edge product that merges the best of online and satellite music into one great, integrated experience,” said Chris Gorog, Napster’s chairman and CEO in the press release. “‘XM + Napster’ will be nirvana for passionate music fans.”
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading global manufacturer of consumer electronics products, today announced a strategic alliance with XM Satellite Radio to introduce its first portable MP3 players with XM Satellite Radio capability.
The relationship entails the production of two miniature flash memory Samsung players that will utilize XM’s Connect-and-Play technology. Both players will come with an XM Radio home accessory kit, which allows the device to receive XM’s 150 channels of commercial-free music, plus news, talk and entertainment programming in the home. Samsung’s new players will be available in two storage capacity sizes and are anticipated to be available by year’s end.
The alliance will combine the capabilities of downloading digital audio music with XM Satellite Radio’s critically-acclaimed line-up of commercial-free music and premier sports, news, and talk radio channels. When the players are connected to a home or car docking station, users will be able to store digital audio content available on XM. The recorded content can be played anywhere, allowing subscribers to enjoy XM programming in places where the XM signal may not be available, such as the subway. In addition, the Samsung players enable the end user to store songs from his or her personal digital music collection, including digital music files (MP3 files and .wma files) purchased from a variety of digital music services.
XM Satellite Radio allows subscribers to discover and rediscover music. Using the Samsung XM/digital audio players, XM subscribers can identify selected songs heard on the XM Satellite Radio service for purchase through a music downloading service. The Samsung players also allow users to create and manage customized playlists, combining both personal digital music files and recorded XM programming.
“Samsung is known for its award-winning line of digital audio players, and we are proud to take the next step with them in the evolution of portable XM Satellite Radio products. Now, consumers can enjoy XM’s live programming plus music from their personal digital music collections in one easy-to-use, elegant player,” said Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM Satellite Radio in the press release.
“Samsung’s innovation and quality standards are world renowned and these products represent our latest breakthrough into satellite radio technology,” said D.J Oh, President and CEO of SEA in the press release. “XM’s award-winning programming and technology provide us with a unique opportunity to offer products that empower consumers and fundamentally change the way people listen to music.”
MacDailyNews Take: Beautiful! This opens the door to Apple iTunes+iPod and Sirius Satellite Radio, home of Howard Stern starting in 2006! It sounds like their are too many cooks in the Samsung+XM Satellite Radio+Napster kitchen and they’re all not going to add up to anything greater than the sum of their parts. With the very weakest link being Napster and Samsung not setting the world afire in the face of Apple’s market dominating iPod, XM could rue the day they set up the Apple iPod+iTunes+Sirius marriage.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple iPod combined with Sirius Satellite Radio would be a music revolution – May 27, 2005
Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Karmazin discusses Sirius-enabled Apple iPod – May 25, 2005
Sirius CEO Karmazin looks to add satellite radio to Apple iPod; no deal – yet – February 10, 2005
Sirius has approached Apple on adding service to iPod – February 09, 2005
Analyst throws cold water on Apple iPod – Sirius Satellite radio deal – December 16, 2004
Analysts: Apple iPod + Sirius Satellite Radio ‘technologically unfeasible right now’ – December 15, 2004
RUMOR: Apple to add SIRIUS Satellite Radio (and Howard Stern) to iPod in mid-2005 – December 10, 2004
Non-Apple news: Howard Stern signs deal with SIRIUS satellite radio – October 06, 2004