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MacBytes
Jan 18, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Napster Going Under? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060118134721)
Description:: Digital Music News is reporting that the digital music subscription service, Napster, is in a dire financial situation, and that massive layoffs are eminent. Company executives may even be planning exit strategies that include a fire sale, or liquidation. In contrast, Apple's iTunes Music Store has scored 83 percent of the legal music download market.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Lacero
Jan 18, 2006, 12:50 PM
The Napster brand has always been synonymous with pirated, free music. It was pretty dumb to 're-brand' it. I guess the subscription model does not work for music.Here's to the Crazy Ones http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=35452 (http://www.uriah.com/apple-qt/movies/think-different.mov)

Yvan256
Jan 18, 2006, 12:54 PM
The Napster brand has always been synonymous with pirated, free music. It was pretty dumb to 're-brand' it.

Indeed, I was surprised to see a company take that name for a commercial purpose. :confused:

Sunrunner
Jan 18, 2006, 12:58 PM
I sure hope those leeches die soon... iTunes Killer my a$$. ;)

yippy
Jan 18, 2006, 01:01 PM
The big question is, if they go under, what happens to people who bought music from them? Do they get permanent rights or are they SOL?

On the other hand I laugh at Napster.

dops7107
Jan 18, 2006, 01:03 PM
I never understood why people would happily accept the requirement of on-going payment in order to listen to their music collection. I for one wouldn't want Napster holding me by the balls like that.

XNine
Jan 18, 2006, 01:04 PM
The big question is, if they go under, what happens to people who bought music from them? Do they get permanent rights or are they SOL?

On the other hand I laugh at Napster.


I'd laugh if those people DIDN'T get rights. Paying all of that money just to lose the ability to listen to music. Morons. Time and time again it's been proven that owning music is preferred over renting it. Why not listen to this, I don't know.

ipacmm
Jan 18, 2006, 01:24 PM
I would have liked to hear that Real was going under over Napster...

Diatribe
Jan 18, 2006, 01:28 PM
As soon as Microsoft enters the market Napster AND Real will have a problem staying profitable. I'll predict that they disappear within 1-2 years after Microsoft enters.

Thomas Harte
Jan 18, 2006, 01:38 PM
I would have liked to hear that Real was going under over Napster...
I was rooting for Creative Labs. Any anyone else that pursues childish macho posturing as a corporate strategy.

dornoforpyros
Jan 18, 2006, 01:50 PM
oh napster, you could have done so well had your straightened up and flew straight after the whole metallica lawsuit.

But instead you decided to sit dormant for 5 years.

My personally opinion is that if napster had come out with a subscription based service with 6-12 months of being shut down they could have control legal music downloads. But they simply didn't strike when the iron was hot.

LimeiBook86
Jan 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
Napster will fail. They have spent way too much money marketing like making commercials and web banners. They wanted to get their name out there, but, the problem is, their name is already out there. Most people still think Napster is that illegal downlading program from the late 90's. One thing for sure is, if Napster goes down, the people that use it will lose their music. I don't see Napster letting the people keep their music, it was a stupid gimmick anyway and I for one thing it'll fail soon. iTunes marketshare will keep raising and the little music downloading sites will start to be wiped clean from the internet.

This is a good thing though, might mean more record labels and companies coming to the iTunes music store :D Because with no other altrernative, where would they go?

dops7107
Jan 18, 2006, 01:59 PM
iTunes marketshare will keep raising and the little music downloading sites will start to be wiped clean from the internet.

This is a good thing though, might mean more record labels and companies coming to the iTunes music store :D Because with no other altrernative, where would they go?

I'm not so sure that market domination by Apple is a good thing. A move towards legal downloads as a large proportion of music sales is a good idea, but if Apple has too much control certain standards may become set in stone. Like price-fixing, for example. Or choice over compression settings. A little competition is definitely healthy. Will MS supply it?

winmacguy
Jan 18, 2006, 02:07 PM
I'm not so sure that market domination by Apple is a good thing. A move towards legal downloads as a large proportion of music sales is a good idea, but if Apple has too much control certain standards may become set in stone. Like price-fixing, for example. Or choice over compression settings. A little competition is definitely healthy. Will MS supply it?
I doubt it, but who knows?

crackpip
Jan 18, 2006, 02:10 PM
I'd laugh if those people DIDN'T get rights. Paying all of that money just to lose the ability to listen to music. Morons. Time and time again it's been proven that owning music is preferred over renting it. Why not listen to this, I don't know.

Open your mind a little. Do people feel entitled, when they disconnect their cable, that they should still be allowed to access their old pay per view movies? As long as subscribers are going in with their eyes open, there are many reasons why a subscription based model is better than pay per track (ppt). It depends on your listening habits.

1) For people who listen to a lot of music, having access to a whole library is attractive. It keeps you from getting bored.

2) It makes it easier to try out new bands, when you know that downloading a track you are unsure of, entails no risk. IMO, the 30 second previews are ass.

3) It gives the company more flexibility in their offerings. They can upgrade their quality or move to a new codec, with basically no concern to end users.

4) You don't have to worry about backing up your music files, which for large collections can be a pain.

5) The price is inexpensive. For approximately 1 CD per month, I can access a provider's entire library. In ten years that's only 120 CD's. In the last 10 years I've bought more than 400 CD's, but I still want new music to listen to.

6) If money gets tight, I can cancel my subscription for a time, and when I'm in the clear, sign back up the entire collection is back.

7) If you have a family, like me, you don't need multiple subscriptions.


The only reason I don't subscribe to a service like Napster is because I refuse to support WMA. Well, that and obviously it doesn't support Mac's; I refuse to have a PC in my house. If Apple opened a subscription service, I'd be first in line, whereas I don't really like iTMS. So next time you feel that people are morons for going against the most popular delivery system, please take a second to realize that there are likely people as smart or smarter than you who have made educated decisions contrary your beliefs.

crackpip

LimeiBook86
Jan 18, 2006, 02:17 PM
I'm not so sure that market domination by Apple is a good thing. A move towards legal downloads as a large proportion of music sales is a good idea, but if Apple has too much control certain standards may become set in stone. Like price-fixing, for example. Or choice over compression settings. A little competition is definitely healthy. Will MS supply it?
Yeah you do have a good point, competition is good. I'm sure there will always be competition but, it has to be pretty big, deffinetly not from some of these little companies that are coming and going on the internet. It would have to be from somewhere big, Google...Yahoo...Microsoft...:rolleyes:

Rocketman
Jan 18, 2006, 02:32 PM
I never understood why people would happily accept the requirement of on-going payment in order to listen to their music collection. I for one wouldn't want Napster holding me by the balls like that.


However, those that did, got precisely what they wished, and paid, for.

:)

Rocketman

Rocketman
Jan 18, 2006, 02:37 PM
I'm not so sure that market domination by Apple is a good thing. A move towards legal downloads as a large proportion of music sales is a good idea, but if Apple has too much control certain standards may become set in stone. Like price-fixing, for example. Or choice over compression settings. A little competition is definitely healthy. Will MS supply it?


Like:

1. Owning your music once and for all?

2. Like being able to put YOUR music on 5 devices/CPU's?

3. Like being "cool" like everyone else?

Apple's "domination" is ORGANIC not cheated or FORCED.

Rocketman

sososowhat
Jan 18, 2006, 02:40 PM
Open your mind a little. Do people feel entitled, when they disconnect their cable, that they should still be allowed to access their old pay per view movies? As long as subscribers are going in with their eyes open, there are many reasons why a subscription based model is better than pay per track (ppt). It depends on your listening habits....
crackpip

Crackpip, I'm totally with you. If one spends over the cost of a subscription each year anyway, then isn't it better to have access to all the music in the store, not just what on "buys".

If Apple did a subscription service to all iTunes music at $10/month I'd be right behind you in line.

Or how about a lifetime subscription for $500? All iTunes music, for ever. Is that owning or renting? Is there really a difference?

PlaceofDis
Jan 18, 2006, 02:42 PM
won't surprise me at all.
its bound to happen to them after all. they've tried to hard. and spent too much money with little profits.

good riddence. the name "napster" was a horrible choice for such a business anyways given its predicessor.

stoid
Jan 18, 2006, 02:44 PM
The same thing could be said about the iTMS, that you are renting your music.

Hypothetical, Apple or the iTMS goes under.
You get a new computer, load iTunes on it, and want to play your music.
Whoops, you need to authorize!
Authorization server no longer exists, you can't authorize.
Now you can't play your music that you bought.

PlaceofDis
Jan 18, 2006, 02:46 PM
The same thing could be said about the iTMS, that you are renting your music.

Hypothetical, Apple or the iTMS goes under.
You get a new computer, load iTunes on it, and want to play your music.
Whoops, you need to authorize!
Authorization server no longer exists, you can't authorize.
Now you can't play your music that you bought.

at least you have the chance to re-rip it though if you burned it as an audio cd. pain yes. but still a viable option.

2nyRiggz
Jan 18, 2006, 02:51 PM
The big question is, if they go under, what happens to people who bought music from them? Do they get permanent rights or are they SOL?


Yea, do they screw those people or give them what they paid for. I think they will get screwed without a kiss.


Bless

XNine
Jan 18, 2006, 02:53 PM
Crackpip, I'm totally with you. If one spends over the cost of a subscription each year anyway, then isn't it better to have access to all the music in the store, not just what on "buys".

If Apple did a subscription service to all iTunes music at $10/month I'd be right behind you in line.

Or how about a lifetime subscription for $500? All iTunes music, for ever. Is that owning or renting? Is there really a difference?

There is a large difference. Why? Well, here goes my explanation as to why subscription services are stupid, and people are stupid for buying into what's not advertized right on the cover.

15 bucks a month get you unlimited access ONLY on your PC.

The radio sucks, plain and simple. So, you want to burn a cd or two to take with you for the week. Well, guess what, that 15 bucks you just spent? It's a waste, because now you have to PAY to burn those tracks to a CD, which is what? About a dollar a song? Maybe less? So now, instead of being able to burn the music you want, whenever you want,you ahve to pay to burn it.

"Well, then I'll just get an iPod to transport the music." Good plan my fellow netizen, but it will not work. Because you have to pay to sync a portable player to it as well.

But, alas, what if you not only want to have a portable music player, but burn a CD to take to a party or play in your car or your stereo at work? AHA! There's paying twice for those songs!

It's foolish. Subscription based service is absolutely foolish monetary wise. Sure, you can get around the whole DRM scheme with playback/record methods. But that again is time consuming, and frankly, boring.


And, I agree I'd rather see REAL networks out of the lineup. But give it time, it'll happen.

iMeowbot
Jan 18, 2006, 03:07 PM
It sure looks like someone is trying to play games with the stock. They're releasing annual numbers in a couple weeks.

jettredmont
Jan 18, 2006, 03:33 PM
Open your mind a little. Do people feel entitled, when they disconnect their cable, that they should still be allowed to access their old pay per view movies? As long as subscribers are going in with their eyes open, there are many reasons why a subscription based model is better than pay per track (ppt). It depends on your listening habits.

[snip 7 excellent points]

The only reason I don't subscribe to a service like Napster is because I refuse to support WMA. Well, that and obviously it doesn't support Mac's; I refuse to have a PC in my house. If Apple opened a subscription service, I'd be first in line, whereas I don't really like iTMS. So next time you feel that people are morons for going against the most popular delivery system, please take a second to realize that there are likely people as smart or smarter than you who have made educated decisions contrary your beliefs.

crackpip

Well said.

The counter-argument is that for your 66% discount (400 cds/10 years at the price of 120), you are taking on a significant risk that:

1. The subscription model may not be available in the future. While your music travels with you going from purchase model to a subscription model, the reverse is not true.
2. The subscription model price may rise significantly in the future. Ref: Yahoo. Then, it's as good as (1).
3. Your music consumption habits may change and no longer remain so voracious. It happens to most people, as they age.

It's all about cost and risk.

SiliconAddict
Jan 18, 2006, 04:20 PM
I sure hope those leeches die soon... iTunes Killer my a$$. ;)

IMHO Napster never really stood much of a chance. Apple had such a solid lead to begin with. Where Apple's competition is going to be is Microsoft over the next 2-5 years. (To be fair I was saying the samr thing Spring 2005 but I was expecting MS's music store to be in full force by then.) MS can just pour hundreds of millions into their endeavor without it really hurting them much. What WILL be interesting is to see what happens if Apple hardware sales spikes into orbit. Of course Apple isn’t going to be touching their 90% anytime soon but if more people start to use Apple systems all you need is a good slathering of Macs to get the name more recognized and it could very well cause a reverse halo effect. Time will tell though. I think this time around with Steve at the helm he knows what went wrong with market shares last time and won’t let the same thing happen to the iPod.

DTphonehome
Jan 18, 2006, 05:06 PM
I also wonder about what's going to happen to people who bought subscriptions. Presumably, they're out of luck.

And that is exactly one of the biggest problems that people have with subscription based services. When Napster goes under (and if not now, it WILL happen at some time in the next 50 years), then what happens to all that music you accumulated into your library? Your entire library is gone, poof. There will probably be another service, but all those years of accumulated tracks is gone. When you start using a subscription service, you're making a lifetime commitment, and that doesn't sit well with people.

The established (for 100 years) system of buying and owning your songs forever (hell, you can give your records, tapes, CD's, or MP3s to your kids!) is what people are most comfortable with. Subscription is too flash-in-the-pan. It sounds good now, but in the long run it doesn't work.

crackpip
Jan 18, 2006, 08:52 PM
There is a large difference. Why? Well, here goes my explanation as to why subscription services are stupid, and people are stupid for buying into what's not advertized right on the cover.

15 bucks a month get you unlimited access ONLY on your PC.


According to Napster, for $15 (which is still comparable with a CD) you are able to put whatever tracks you want on supported MP3 players.


The radio sucks, plain and simple. So, you want to burn a cd or two to take with you for the week. Well, guess what, that 15 bucks you just spent? It's a waste, because now you have to PAY to burn those tracks to a CD, which is what? About a dollar a song? Maybe less? So now, instead of being able to burn the music you want, whenever you want,you ahve to pay to burn it.

"Well, then I'll just get an iPod to transport the music." Good plan my fellow netizen, but it will not work. Because you have to pay to sync a portable player to it as well.

But, alas, what if you not only want to have a portable music player, but burn a CD to take to a party or play in your car or your stereo at work? AHA! There's paying twice for those songs!


I have a computer at work (Napster lets you use up to 3 computers). I have a RF transmitter for one of my cars (which doesn't have a CD player), and a line in for the other. Most stereos have a line-in, usually RCA ports. Even hotels I've stayed at recently have been putting in alarm clocks with a line-in for mp3 players. I haven't burned a music CD in years. I haven't even played a CD in at least a year; I encode them as soon as I get them.

It's foolish. Subscription based service is absolutely foolish monetary wise.

You are incorrect. It's foolish to you, but your arguments are not thought out well enough to be universally correct. Again, to paraphrase my previous post, subscription models aren't for everyone, but some people find them attractive. This does not make them morons.


The counter-argument is that for your 66% discount (400 cds/10 years at the price of 120), you are taking on a significant risk that:

1. The subscription model may not be available in the future. While your music travels with you going from purchase model to a subscription model, the reverse is not true.
2. The subscription model price may rise significantly in the future. Ref: Yahoo. Then, it's as good as (1).
3. Your music consumption habits may change and no longer remain so voracious. It happens to most people, as they age.


1. When it comes to ppt services, no one is certain what will happen when the companies go out of business. People purchasing tracks this way are also taking on a risk, that they will not be playable in the future.

2. Sure, but CD's and ppt services may also increase in price, and I wouldn't buy all my CD's up front. I think Yahoo is somewhat unique, since they were selling at a loss during their promotional period.

3. True, but I will have saved a good deal of money while my listening habits were diverse. And, let's not forget that this can include my family at no extra charge as long as we don't go over three computers.

It's all about cost and risk.

Agreed.

Finally, although this doesn't necessarily say much about the company's financial status, according to theregister.co.uk (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/18/napster_subscriber_figures/), Napster has doubled their number of subscribers compared with last year.

crackpip

dejo
Jan 18, 2006, 10:17 PM
As soon as Microsoft enters the market Napster AND Real will have a problem staying profitable. I'll predict that they disappear within 1-2 years after Microsoft enters.

Microsoft has already entered this market. Multiple times. The most recent incarnation is "Urge" (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060105015630.shtml).

p0intblank
Jan 18, 2006, 10:22 PM
I would love to see Napster die. I really would.

:thinks back to the horrible Super Bowl ads:

SiliconAddict
Jan 19, 2006, 08:30 AM
Microsoft has already entered this market. Multiple times. The most recent incarnation is "Urge" (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060105015630.shtml).

No Microsoft has dabbled in the market. Trust me. When they enter you will know. Up til now I've seen nothing on TV. I expect a full on media blitz when they show up to play. Part of me thinks it's because of Vista. Both from a resource perspective and also that I think some of those services are going to be tied into Vista. (Think Netscape vs. Microsoft.)

I would love to see Napster die. I really would.

:thinks back to the horrible Super Bowl ads:


Dude you're kinda petty. You know that right? Or at the very least your post is.

jdechko
Jan 19, 2006, 09:00 AM
The same thing could be said about the iTMS, that you are renting your music.

Hypothetical, Apple or the iTMS goes under.
You get a new computer, load iTunes on it, and want to play your music.
Whoops, you need to authorize!
Authorization server no longer exists, you can't authorize.
Now you can't play your music that you bought.

While that is technically possible, it is not probable. If Apple and/or iTunes went under, it does not inherently mean that you would be unable to authorize machines. I say that because of this: certain pieces of software require authorization (obviously) and the companies that have written the software have gone under. However, they still provide (must provide ?) a means of authorizing software through some means for some length of time (or perhaps indefinitely). I see that happening if Apple were to unfortunately have to close the iTMS. They would provide authorization through a third party.

Diatribe
Jan 19, 2006, 09:39 AM
No Microsoft has dabbled in the market. Trust me. When they enter you will know. Up til now I've seen nothing on TV. I expect a full on media blitz when they show up to play. Part of me thinks it's because of Vista. Both from a resource perspective and also that I think some of those services are going to be tied into Vista. (Think Netscape vs. Microsoft.)


Exactly. You'll know when they actually enter the market. You'll have ads all over MTV and the other networks. But MTV will drown in those ads. Take this with preloaded and MS will likely take the marketshare from Real and Napster, maybe even a little from Apple.
But tying it to the iPod was the smartest move ever. This way MS has almost no chance unless people are buying other players, which I don't see happening in the foreseeable future.