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The New Napster. Any Predictions?
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Reports are buzzing all over about Napster's deal with MusicNet, the online subscription service emanating from Warner Music Group, EMI Recorded Music and BMG Entertainment. It's all part of the major labels' continuing efforts to establish "legitimate" alternatives to the old Napster model.

An article in CNET reports that Napster will first charge for a basic service, which essentially allows the swapping of music from independent labels. Access to a limited MusicNet library will cost extra.

Are you laughing or yawning? Does anybody out there expect music lovers to pay $10 a month - or whatever - for this kinda service?

Quite frankly, true music fans would be happy to pay for unlimited access. But evidently - and predictably - that's not what the majors have in mind.

Don't expect the Net-surfing public to go for any of this. There are just too many "illegitimate" alternatives. The reality is this: For better or worse, we are now accustomed to this overwhelmingly endless supply of information and entertainment, better known as the Internet. You cannot re-train 70 million without giving them real incentives.

To be fair, we cannot blame the majors for "testing" the market; you have to test the market to see what it will bear. But some things are obvious. As the CEO of the Digital Club Network once said, "If CDs costed $3, the Napster issue would never have come about." (paraphrased)

Recently, I spoke to a leader in the P2P space who will remain nameless. "Same ol' scenario. Old Media versus New Media. New Media shakes up Old media. Old Media moves to squash New Media. Old Media tries to buy out New Media. Old Media finally decides to share with New Media. Eventually, Old Media and New Media bask in bigger better revenues."

I guess we're somewhere in the middle.

Finally, Reuters reports that Starz Encore is developing a movie about the rise of Napster. That should be fun. They should get Aimster's Aimee Deep to star. Gotta secure that 12-24 demographic.


Aimster -
Digital Club Network -
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Starz -
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Related News from Mi2N:
» Napster Licenses MusicNet Service

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