Napster vs iTunes: Superbowl Ad


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
USA Today reports on Napster's upcoming Superbowl advertisement which is directly targeted against Apple's iTunes/iPod.

The theme of the campaign is "Do the Math" will be pushing the Napster To Go service which allows users to transfer an unlimited number of songs to their (WMA-compatible) music player for $15/month:

In Napster's 30-second ad in the third quarter, viewers will see a camera pan the stands of a Super-Bowl-like game. There are the usual shirtless rowdies — who've spelled out "Napster" across their bellies.

The camera finally comes to rest on Napster's feline icon, who holds up a sign that reads: "Do the Math. How much will it cost to fill up your player?"


macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
Bay Area
No one wants to have yet another montly bill. I don't think subscription services will ever catch on, no matter how cheap. I know I would never want one. The way iTMS does it is just more flexible and the price is already better than buying in store. There's really not much to improve on.


macrumors member
Jun 22, 2004
Minneapolis, MN
Where in their calculation does Napster account for the "your music player sucks almost as bad as the Napster interface" variable?



macrumors member
Nov 5, 2003
Then what when you don't want to spend the $15 a month anymore but you still want that music you have listening to for so long. I would rather know I did the math spent the money and still have the music. Thank you very much!!


macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
I dunno. It would be nice to keep refilling your player with new content. However, I use a lot of my purchased tracks for other purposes besides just listening to music. I use iTunes music in slide shows, home movies,dvds etc. If Microsoft could build Janus so that rented songs could be used in projects such as the ones I mentioned above, then *maybe* they would have something unique.

However, I doubt that will ever happen.

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
So far, this story has been rated 100% negative. Is our Apple bias showing or are we simply sensible?


macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2005
Yeah, the Atari Jaguar was heinously unsuccessful. I was about to bring up that campaign myself.

Napster is forgetting one key thing with this little ad of theirs - people won't want to give up their iPods to use their service, even if it is a better value as they claim.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2005
If with the $9.99 per month (or whatever it is) cost your were able to keep 5-10 songs, this may be something. Large library for you, keep the ones you like, sales for napster.

Only problem is that idea would not work well with the shuffle...


macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2004
Philadelphia, PA
I agree that I don't want to rent my music, I want to own it. If I want to burn a CD of it I want to be able to, or use it for a slideshow or a move. I think it's stupid that I would pay $15 a month to basicly try out music. If I really like it and want to have it permantly I still have to buy it. Plus I'd never trade my iPod for a lesser MP3 player just so it would work with this service.


macrumors member
Sep 25, 2003
Has anyone ever met or heard of someone actually paying for and using Napster? The only time I've ever heard of Napster even existing in the wild are those wildly unpopular agreements where universities force the service on students.


macrumors member
Jan 13, 2005
I have 2 iPods and love iTunes, BUT... I would like to give the subscription model a try. There are lots of songs on iTunes that I never buy because I don't think I'd listen to them 2 months from now. With a subscription, I could have them for 2 months and then delete them off.

Just the other day I was going through the music videos on iTunes. They had a classic live performance of the Bee Gees. I was thinking how I'd like to download and listen to all the popular songs the Bee Gees had from the 70s. Problem was I just wanted to hear them once and wouldn't want to hear them again any time soon. The 30 second preview just wasn't enough.

I won't try Napster because they don't support iPods. If Napster did support the iPod, I'd give it a try in a second.

I have so say that if Apple ever does do the subscription model, the negetive votes for this thread would quickly change to positive.


macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
So fat people with the Napster icon on their stomachs can fill up my music player? And it doesn't work with the iPod?

I hope this commercial flops....but I guess I'll have to see it about 2000 times after the superbowl....


macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
They never learn...

Good lord, when will these people understand that rental music just doesn't interest people? This model is what, 5 years old? 7 years old?
As for doing the math, anyone I know already has a sizeable CD collection, and if not, they will have to buy their music somewhere. It's not like you have to pay for your CD's and then again to download them. You can't point to a CD tower and say "Sure it's only fifty bucks, but do you realize how much it's going to cost to put CD's in there?"


2A Batterie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2004
Out of a Suitcase, USA
It seems like the past year or so Apple has been bombarded with competitors trying to get a piece of the Apple pie. How many "iPod killers" and new services have been introduced and then gone away? Apple looks better to the consumer everytime someone else puts out new and useless crap. Heck, even Microsoft employees are using iPods on the Microsoft campus.


macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2003
$15 X 12 months = 180 yearly. Hell I havn't even spent that much yet on iTunes, and I have had my iPod since Nov. 2003. My mom has only spent about $40, while the rest of her music comes from the CDs she already owns. Now to even keep playing the music, you have to keep paying Napster. Where as in iTunes, $1 a song and its mine for life.

I did the math, I like my iTunes.

And yes, I would love it if Apple would buy a spot in the 4th quarter and do an AD say just that.


macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
Well I decided to do the math- and it turns out it cost me 0.00 dollars to fill my iPod. Napster will have to try to gloss over the fact that most people already have large libraries of CDs that they will rip and put on their mp3 players when they buy them.


macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2004
Vancouver BC
Can these Napster music files be shared with other computers? Apples itunes music files can be shared with other computers right? (limited number?)

I agree that not being able to use the downloaded music in any other app would really be a drawback for me. I use all my downloads in DVD's Movies etc.

I would think that this sales approach would benefit the average downloader who doesn't do much else but listen to there (ugly) mp3 music player.