Napster, Samsung join forces with XM Satellite Radio

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

31 Comments

  1. For the record, my (primary!) sources inside both XM and Sirius say Jobs himself met w/ both companies a while back, and told them both he wasn’t interested in partnering with either.

    XM has been terribly unsupportive of the Mackies, I must say. Considering how they forced the online component on us. ::grumble::

  2. Looks like it could actually be fairly successful to me. I know alot of friends who have sprung for an XM portable recently and I have to say that this provides a pretty seamless experience to me…at least on paper. I’ve always hated hearing a good song on the radio while driving down the road and the DJ not giving the name or artist. Or not having a pen and paper handy. How cool would it be to be able to mark the song on your iPod and then when you get back to your computer and sync up having iTunes provide you with a new playlist consisting of the songs that you marked as having interest in? I think Apple was beaten to the punch on this one. Let’s see if Apple does it better.

  3. Seeing as how this device won’t even receive live XM programming (it only records XM stations while docked), what is the point of having one of these? Steve Jobs is right and I sure don’t want something this bulking up my iPod for sure either.

  4. Trying to jump into Steve’s head– not going to happen with Sirius because the demand is not enough. Furthermore, eventually wi-fi or always on internet in some form is going to be ubiquitous, so giving satellite the edge right now would erode that possibility. If Apple is going to become one of the 10 biggest internet companies in the world, as Steve syas, it won’t happen by handing content or a portal over to someone else.

  5. MDN is right the SJ should look into adding Sirius, despite the fact that Howard Stern is joining them. Can anyone explain why not? Seems to be just the kind of content/market expanding move that Apple tends to do, at least once they have a quality product. It sure adds to the “cool factor” of an mp3 player.

  6. Howard Stern is overrated….he’s with Sirius….big fricken’ whoop. Do you actually think Steve Jobs wants to me associated with a vulgar man like that? I think not…..not to mention corporate companies and the image that goes with it. Nope!

  7. that’s crap. who listens to satellite radio? if apple wants guaranteed customers and a large user base, partner with Rush Limbaugh — an avid mac user himself — who would practically guarantee 25-30% of the U.S. population as customer base.

  8. I agree. This thing will only work with XM while it’s in the dock, so that takes a lot of the portable flexibility away from it. That alone in my mind is why these portable satellite radios will never take off and become mainstream like the iPod has.

  9. If I wanted a radio I would not have purchased an iPod.

    Who is the world’s best DJ of the music I like? Why, it’s me. I make all of the playlists and I select the right playlist for the mood and surroundings and nobody does it better.

    Besides, satillites cause microwave radiation. Tinfoil hats anyone?

  10. This device does allow you to listen to all 150 XM stations anywhere you want and mark songs for download from Napster as you listen. When you get back to your PC and dock, napster fires up and offers all of the songs you marked for download. Pretty compelling model. Might get more people into XM and Napster.

  11. If it only works by effectively recording satellite broadcasts for later listening how is this any better than downloading podcasts or indeed any other content from the internet? It’s wose because stuff off the internet can be obtained at any time, radio or any streamed content has to be recorded at the time it is broadcast.

  12. <quote>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.</quote>

    Additionally, you can mark and purchase while listening to XM online.

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