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Napster To Campaign Aggressively Against iPod

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the uphill-battles dept.

Music 855

rocketjam writes "Forbes reports that Napster plans an aggressive marketing campaign against Apple's iPod as part of its subscription service full launch later this quarter. Napster's service uses Microsoft's Janus technology to enable DRM protected music files 'bought' through subscription services to be transferred from a PC to a portable music player. Napster CEO Chris Gorog said the company is betting heavily that their monthly 'all you can eat' subscription service will win the battle for online digital music services, claiming, 'It's exactly what consumers want to do. Napster To Go is very similar to the P2P experience.' He believes the best way to market the service is to emphasize its advantages over iTunes and its iPod-only compatibility. 'We're going to be communicating to people that it's stupid to buy an iPod.' Maybe I'm too old to get it, but I fail to see the attraction of paying a monthly fee for as long as I want to have access to my music." Of course, if Napster To Go supported iPod, they'd have a much larger install base to convince to use their service, instead of still pleading people to buy a portable player with compatible DRM installed.

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eh0d put an apple in my pussy (-1, Troll)

eh0d is my daddy (825041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651693)


I have a theory. I think that when you get a normal girl in front of a webcam, she becomes a whore. A cam whore. Now, I certainly don't mean that she'll fuck anything that moves, although this may be the case. I mean that her exhbitionistic tendencies will come out and she'll start doing weird things on cam. Exposing herself, flashing some sweet tittie to whoever might be watching or just being a tease. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I like to watch some cam whore tease a bunch of guys just as much as the next totally heterosexual male aged 18 - 40. However, a while ago I got the opportunity to &quotdirect" one of these cam sessions with a normal girl who just got a webcam that day. This was a private show, and is not likely to be repeated any time soon. Fear not, loyal reader, for I made good use of the unique opportunity and saved all of the images ( as any good pervert would ).

The Story

While talking to this girl on ICQ, she confided in me that she wanted to explore her submissive side with someone she could trust. Ka-ching! But no, I'm not that sort of person. Actually, I didn't like her hair. However, I didn't have any problems with dominating her online. I found out that I'm actually into this sort of thing, but we can talk about that another time. I started telling her to take photos of herself with her new webcam for me. She fell into line quickly ( no bitchslaps required ) and followed my directions fairly well for a first time sub. I started slowly, seeing how far she would go for me. The shirt and pants came off shortly, quickly followed by her bra with only a minimal amount of cajoling. After some poses in a thong and a g-string, she pranced around buck fucking naked. All because I told her too. Wow.

Now, it was time to get down to the fun stuff. Take a seat honey. Spread 'em. Good girl. This girl was so easy to work with. Any time she wanted to resist, I just told her that I would stop talking to her if she didn't do as I said. Ka-ching. This submissive thing is damn cool. I got her in various poses over the next little while. Ever wanted to see a girl lick her own nipple? So did I. Wanna know what she'll look like right before you do her up the poops? Now you know. I started getting bored with plain poses at this point, so I told her to start playing with herself.

Slut: &quotI can't do that now"
Me: &quotAnd why not?"
Slut: &quotBecause it'll push me over the edge"
Me: &quotI don't see a problem with that. Do it."

And of course, she did. Gee, that finger looks lonely. Use two. What? You've never used more than two before? Well, now's the time to start with a third.

At this point, she would have agreed to anything ( and did ). I convinced her that my real name is Stile, and that I want her to hold up a sign that says &quotStile Sux" on it. Silly girl. She did it. Those photos now reside in the second Stile Sux archive and she still doesnt know what Stile Sux means or what Stileproject is.

Me: &quotGee, if you could get three fingers in there, how much more can you do?"
Slut: &quotThat's it. I can't fit anymore"
Me: &quotI don't believe that. Do your whole hand"
Slut: &quotI can't! I'll rip"
Me: &quotDo it."

I have to give her credit. With a lot of pushing and shoving, some crying, a lot of moaning, and a few orgasms, she actually did it. She fisted herself because I told her to without ever having met me in real life.

I ended it at this point. The poor girl had worn herself out so that she could barely stay conscious, let alone talk. She doesnt know these photos are up here, and probably never will, so enjoy this glimpse into the life of a slutty cam whore.

- Zippy :: Back to PenIsMightier ::

fp!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651697)

fp beyotches

Re:fp!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651711)

argh. ferk.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651698)

according to napster ceo chris gorog, speaking to nma at midemnet this week, his company is betting heavily that the monthly 'all you can eat' subscription model will win the battle of the digital services, rather than the download strategy currently pursued by apple's itunes, which has around 70% of legal download sales

When buying a player... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651700)

...insist on one that comes without M$ DRM garbage.

One small change would make all the difference.. (3, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651705)

All they have to do is just make it so that if you stop paying the subscription you still keep the songs.

That would be a very attractive deal that I would consider.


Re:One small change would make all the difference. (5, Insightful)

RustNeverSleeps (846857) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651735)

Obviously that would change would make the service attractive to customers, but it would ruin their business. All you'd have to do is subscribe for a month or two, download all the songs you want and then cancel your subscription. They get a few tens of dollars in exchange for possibly several thousand songs, which presumably they have to pay the record companies for.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (5, Insightful)

wastaz (634441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651774)

However, new music will come out.
Not to mention, you'll find "new old music" everyday.

I'd most certainly keep subscribing for more than 2 months, even though the first months would be downloading-craze-filled.

As long as I could keep the songs after Ive cancelled my subscription, if I choose to do so in the future, I'd most likely subscribe to a service like this for a long time. This type of subscriptionbased downloading has been what Ive been looking for all along since the "buy your music over the net"-thing started. Too bad that it's still not exactly what I want, but its the closest bet yet. Too bad that they'll use MS DRM scheme, that totally ruined their chance of having me try it out :P

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (1)

Renesis (646465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651740)

So.. you download 10,000 songs from Napster in the first month, then cancel your subscription straight away and they are supposed to let you keep all those?

Doesn't sound like a great business model to me!

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (4, Insightful)

jpatters (883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651787)

It goes both ways, you know. It doesn't seem to me to be a very good deal for the consumer, especially since in my opinion they are likely to fail, and when they go out of business, all your songs go poof. Unless I am missing some clause that allows you to keep the songs should they go out of business.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (5, Insightful)

CrocketAndTubbs (855888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651824)

Well, if you look at it as they aren't ever your songs, but instead, you have access to all of their catalog while subscribed, then maybe it makes more sense.
Many people like to collect things, and the model kind of goes against their natures I guess.
Ideally, you wouldn't download at all. You'd have instant streaming from a wireless device. What do I want to listen to today? How about a little William Hung. Well, here you go. She bangs, She Bangs! Of course, that isn't what they are selling. Maybe in 2020.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (3, Informative)

Renesis (646465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651912)

It's a lot closer than that. Rhapsody ( do that today on the PC platform.

Check out the 3GSM conference starting Monday for movement from the mobile side of things ;)

Definitely not 2020 - more like 2006/7.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651749)

So you get to fill your whole music player for $15 (cause you won't pay after the first month, will you)? Doesn't sound like a fair solution. What I think would be more in line though is if you stop paying, you get to credit your subscription to x number of songs. So, if I pay $15 / month, quit after 2 months, well, then I get to keep 30 songs or something.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (4, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651762)

They won't do that, as then you can pay 15 bucks, get 80 thousand songs. Then cancel. Which is the opposite of what they want you to do. Which is pay them 15 dollars a month FOREVER!

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651810)

so you are basically saying you want to pay $15 once and get all the music that you've ever wanted.

that would sure be attractive, but i can't see how it would make economical sense.

Napster marketing needs to change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651884)

Napster needs to emphasize that they support both the 99 cent portable downloads (iTunes style) AND the subscription service.

Re:One small change would make all the difference. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651907)

All they have to do is just make it so that if you stop paying the subscription you still keep the songs.

I definatly didn't get that from their ads. i wasn't sure from the /. post but if you're correct. My fears of the iTMS-killer are over. You have to pay as long as you want your songs? Noone who realizes this will buy into it esp since I can't use my iPod. It just sounds stupid.. like paying for radio.

Anyway I'm betting people will try to sue them over the confusion. Doubt they'll win anything but I see many many complaints being lodged against them for that.--
The Wolfkin

Rent music???? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651707)

So as far as I can tell, you pay a monthly fee to "rent" your music.
I understand DRM is evil but at least I own the digital files I download off of iTunes.

I would pay this.. (1)

brian1442 (640731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651717)

I would have no problem paying to access "my" music every single month. After all, if I buy two CDs every month (my average), then you could argue that I already pay $20 per month to feed my music habit. If this costs the same but gives me access to any music then I would subscribe in a second.. After all, I will pay for the ease of someone else managing my CD collection. --Brian

Re:I would pay this.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651772)

After all, if I buy two CDs every month (my average), then you could argue that I already pay $20 per month to feed my music habit.

Yeah, but if you go a month without buying two CDs, nobody comes to your house and takes away all your other CDs.

After all, I will pay for the ease of someone else managing my CD collection.

You must be one lazy motherfucker. How hard is it to unwrap a CD, rip it, and stick it on a shelf? Even if you keep your collection alphabetized, we're talking minutes per month.

Re:I would pay this.. (1)

phats garage (760661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651915)

I already have done this type of thing before, I used to rent video tapes, enjoy the flick, then return the tape without recording it. Some folks might buy into it just to enjoy a big catalog of stuff.

Re:I would pay this.. (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651839)

Well, nice as having access to all music you'll ever want is, I would severely miss the reliability and ease of use of my iPod. And considering the fact that my music collection is now so extensive that I rarely buy music (or download it for that matter) anymore, I think yet another subscription to my already complicated monthly payments is just not worth it by far.


Re:I would pay this.. (1)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651870)

If your monthly payment to Napster somehow gets messed up just a single month so it doesn't reach Napster in time all your previous investment in Napster music is lost.

If Napster closes for whatever reason all your previous investment in Napster music is lost.

In both cases you loose access to all the music you have paid Napster for.

Re:I would pay this.. (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651877)

You sound like a shill for DRM, Brian. You know very well what the difference between owning and renting is, especially with respect to something as personal as a music collection.

What a waste of Money (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651718)

Let's really do the math.

2 years. $15 bucks a month $360
2 years 15 songs a month that you buy at $.99 ea $356

In year 3 you stop buying music,

Napster you have zero songs
iTunes you have 360 songs, that will play on your PC or Mac or, iPod.

Total long term value of Napster $0
Total long term value of iTunes $360

Note this assumes both sides always carry backwards compatiblity.

iTMS is almost as bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651763)

"value of iTunes $360"

Actually, the value is $0.

Before you argue with me, remember the traditional way to set value is to sell it and see what the open market brings. EBay is great because it generally establishes the real market value.

But iTMS won't let you do that. You cannot transfer music to anyone else (and BTW, I can when I buy the CD)

So by this measure, the value is the same. $0.

And while I'll grant you there is a viseral appeal to thinking you "own" the song, you really don't in iTMS.

The flip side of Napster is that you have to pay, but you get a large selection that you can take to the gym or commuting, but you lose access to it. In that respect Napster is more like a radio service.

I wouldn't pay a dime to either service because I consider them both a rip-off.

Look at flipside... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651794)

You can also end up having paid for music you no longer like. If you never end your subscription you really don't lose out. I have over 1800+ songs in iTunes most of which are from CDs. I have another hundred or so CDs I still haven't ripped. What is the value of those songs to me? About nothing. Actually they are not worth a dime to me as I don't listen to them, let alone rememeber them. Value is all in the application and in some cases the immediate only matters.

Also with Apple, if you lose your music due to HDD crash, fire, theft, etc you may not be able to get it back. They authorized me to redownload my songs ONE time (I lost a weeks worth of purchases due to a crash - I was able to get a few back that I had already transfered to my iPod - but not all). So where is my value should I lose all my purchases and iPod in a house fire? Talk with iTunes and see their policy. I still cannot unauthorize my original HDD/PC because they won't let me. The only way I fully recovered was that I did have a back up of a major portion of my purchased music on DVD.

Key to keeping iTunes worth your investment - back up purchased songs on multiple media types and don't keep them all in one place! Otherwise you can lose your entire investment.

Re:Look at flipside... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651831)

Good notes. Backups are important for everything you spend money on.

If you have 1800 AAC's and say 300 CD's you haven't listened to those CD's aren't worth anything more than AAc's (minus resale value as the AC one post up points out)

DRM is useless. It's why I haven't actually bought any songs from iTunes(or anyone else) The DC's I like I keep, the rest go back into circulation. I havne't bought a new CD though since 2001. Haven't found anything interesting enough to buy.

RIAA has to fix it's shitty artists first, then worry about protecting those artists.

Re:Look at flipside... (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651852)

So you're complaining about iTunes? 9.99 for an entire album compared to ~20 at Best Buy or some other store? If the CD you purchased for ~20 breaks, does the store let you get a free copy of the album? Nope.

Don't mean to be rude... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651893)

"9.99 for an entire album compared to ~20 at Best Buy"

I don't mean to be rude, but who pays $20 for the album at best buy?

I mean, at worst, you buy it at Costco for $12 or Amazon for $13.

If you can wait a few days, then you buy at BMGMusic (where I average $8/CD after shipping) or used, where I can frequently get CD's for $5-6, even relatively new ones.

You like to say $20 for a CD primarily because it justifies the $10 price for iTMS, which is a poor deal considering (a) Only 128kb/s fidelity (b) no liner notes or information on the artists (c) you can't sell it when you're tired of it.

Re:Look at flipside... (2, Insightful)

dlockamy (597001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651865)

> I have another hundred or so CDs I still
>haven't ripped. What is the value of those
>songs to me?

Of course those cds still have a value to you,
drop by your local used cd dealer and it's money
in your pocket.

Re:What a waste of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651798)

If in 2 years, all you have is 360 songs, then why even buy an ipod? Thats about 1 to 1.5 gigs worth or music, and even if you bought the ipod mini, id still consider it overkill. Would you praise a team of engineers who builds a car with a 1,000 gallon gas tank.

Its funny, my boss bought the black U2 ipod because she's a U2 fanatical. She doesnt even want to hear about riping her own CDs even though I tell her about the fair use policy. She'll never come close in reaching 1/5 of storage capacity.

Re:What a waste of Money (5, Interesting)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651808)

In year 3 you stop buying music,

Napster you have zero songs

You're 100% correct. I saw some of their new TV spots during the super bowl, and if you watch carefully, there is fine print at the bottom of the screen that says something like "Songs expire if you cancel your monthly membership"...

This will fail completely in the same way that Circuit City's Divx fiasco failed. People have proven time and time again that they don't want their media to expire. When they buy something, they want to OWN it, not just rent it until MegaMediaCorp decides they want it back.

Also, because there is no iPod support they are only able to sell to the less than 10% of the HD marketplace that isn't iPod and supports Microsoft DRM.

So, to break it down for you:

Lame product... check!

No target market... check!

Draconian DRM... check!

Their marketing department must all have MBAs from the Prestigious University of dot.Bomb, class of 2001...

Re:What a waste of Money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651823)

You can buy songs on Napster ... don't people know this??

Dude, look at it this way.

Most songs, aside from the really good ones, suck after about three years (people do grow up).

On napster, you can buy the songs you really like (rather than have a infatuation with) for 99 cents (which is exactly the same as iTunes).

Also there is the advantage of being able to hear the whole song multiple times before deciding to buy it.

Napster has BOTH purchase and/or subscrption style.

I use iTunes, Napster, and even Microsoft music store thingy.

I think napster is the better deal.

I rarely use itunes anymore .. and actually I even like the napster interface better.

My main gripe is with the mp3 player manufacturers. They need to make mp3 players dirt cheap. And record companies need to enable people to buy songs. There needs to be an open standard for buying music and more places need to start selling digital singles and albums (amazon etc.?)

I am also waiting for Napster or somebody to come out with a favorite TV show and movie download service.

Re:What a waste of Money (1)

FZer0 (585622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651880)

Hm, it seems that Mr. AC works for Napster.

Re:What a waste of Money (1)

buttersnout (832768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651848)

Also napsters adds are quite misleading. You can only use a 5g player yet they compare their 5g of music to ipods 40g in their ads. Also .99 *10,000 songs is 9,900 not 10,000 dollars. So you get a choice of 3 5g players and they are comparing to 40g of music on the ipod. And once you stop, as you noted, you have nothing.

Re:What a waste of Money (2, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651879)

Of course if you wanted to buy three albums a month, Napster seems to make sense. I wonder how many people want to buy that much music, since that's what Napster is really counting on.

Okay, the peer to peer network is not a fair comparison, because it's not money driven. But how many people download or downloaded more than, say, two albums a month via peer to peer? If you did, Napster might not be such a bad deal.

I consider Napster to be like cable TV, since you pay forever, and in return you get new programming every month. With Napster, you get new music continuously added every month that you can play at no extra cost.

It's not for me personally. I buy from 0-3 albums a month on iTunes, maybe averaging one album a month, which is a lot cheaper than Napster, and when things are tight and I don't feel like looking at music, I don't need to spend anything. For me, the iTunes store is by far the best model.

For new users, they can get hooked on the iTunes store one track at a time. The store is definitely well-designed and addictive, so it will suck you in, and then you're going to get the iPod and all will be well.

The big disadvantage of the cable TV model is that nobody wants a recurring charge on their credit card. That's a much harder sell to me than something I can spend money on it when I feel like it and ignore it when I don't.

The other disadvantage is actual patterns of listening to music. I find that when I discover new stuff, I listen to it a lot in the first month or two, and then it goes back in the rotation and I listen to old/new stuff. In short, music retains its value. It's unlikely you want to watch a TV series more than, say, ten or so times over its life. I have tracks in iTunes I've played hundreds of times. In short, it seems like many people like listening to music they've acquired before, and only slowly decide to add new tracks to their collection. This seems to make the iTunes music store model more natural.

Finally, Napster clearly has a tough row to hoe in encouraging people to give up their iPods. I have looked at competing music players and compared to the iPod they are just plain laughable.

So Napster does have financial advantages if you want to buy into the cable TV model of music. But as I've said, I don't think that's how most people want to buy music or think about it.


Re:What a waste of Money (1)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651902)

I don't know... I can see some value in the service...

You allegedly can download and play however many songs your want, as long as you keep the subscription up. So, every month for the price of 1 CD you can instead download, say, new 30 albums, and play them to death. The albums that turn out to be worth keeping in the long term you can purchase, but you've saved yourself the money of having purchased the other 29 albums that were great at the beginning, but grew tiresome after a few months of play.

consider (1)

mpower1 (858744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651719)

I would consider it if the service was not rental. Plus, having the songs tied to a device sucks.

Re:consider (2, Interesting)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651900)

Maybe one of these services could consider a plan where if you rented a song for a set amount of time, it would become "yours", or at least unexpireable. That way I could experement with new artists, and get rid of them the next month, but my favorites would stay on my computer if I ever decide to stop subscribing. Another idea is to have the subscription rental service, then have discounts on "buying" the music you rent. For instance, $15 a month for unlimited rental of music, and $0.49 to buy any one of those songs.

DRM! DRM! DRM! (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651720)

Users have been hungering for digital rights management for some time. It's about time an upstanding company like Napster provided users what they want - restrictions on the media they purchase.

(This message brought to you by the RIAA)

Re:DRM! DRM! DRM! (1)

kemapa (733992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651761)

Users have been hungering for digital rights management for some time. It's about time an upstanding company like Napster provided users what they want - restrictions on the media they purchase.

(This message brought to you by the RIAA)

Napster is jumping in a little bit late... Apple has already graciously been giving users DRM for a while now. And the irony of your joke that users would actually rally around a company for giving them DRM is that Apple users actually do just that. Just read ANY old slashdot story about iTunes DRM and you will find 100's of +5 insightful comments about how great DRM is as long as it's from Apple and how happy Apple users are that Apple serves them up DRM.

Re:DRM! DRM! DRM! (3)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651804)

Apple's DRM is reasonable. Maybe you're too dense to realize that. It's also easily strippable which lends to it's favoritism by consumers over that of Microsoft's DRM.

So really it's users rallying around the best legal option the record labels would submit to. No major labels sign on to plans without DRM so you have no point.

Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (5, Insightful)

coupland (160334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651721)

This sounds to me like a marketing message that will fall on deaf ears. Do people really care that iTunes is only iPod-compatible? After all, most people have an iPod. To the average consumer it's not iTunes that's proprietary, it's anything that can't play on an iPod that's considered incompatible. You can't really point at the defacto standard, that people know and love, and scream "proprietary, proprietary!" Proprietary it may be, but it's a convoluted and diluted message that that will just confuse consumers. The iTunes marketing message is "Cool, and hip, and all your friends are doing it." The Napster marketing message is "we're not proprietary?" Someone needs to go take Marketing 101.

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (1)

Tropaios (244000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651793)

You can't really point at the defacto standard, that people know and love, and scream "proprietary, proprietary!"

I don't think this is the place you want to try making this sort of claim

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (1)

clymere (605769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651811)

thats a really good point.

if i write a piece of software and it only runs on the Mac, people will either demand a port to Windows, or just choose not to use it. If there is enough demand, either I will be forced to make a port, or some other enterprising individual will create a windows program with similar functionality and be much more succesful with it.

if i write a piece of software that runs only on Windows, mac users will be annoyed, but make little difference as theres few of them. They'll either find ways of running it in emulation, or be forced to find themselves a Windows machine to run it on...both things they are quite used to.

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (1)

theid0 (813603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651817)

To the average consumer it's not iTunes that's proprietary, it's anything that can't play on an iPod that's considered incompatible.

Exactly. How many times has anybody walked into a typical office and heard: "Ahhh! You can't run that here, that only runs on the proprietary Windows OS!"

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (4, Insightful)

jdwest (760759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651819)

Bingo. You win.

And while Napster's at it, it needs to take Advertising 101, too.

Napster ran its US$2.4M spot during the third quarter of the Super Bowl -- the one where the cat holds up the "Do the Math" poster. Half the audience was sufficiently inebriated by that time that "doing math" was the LAST thing on anyone's mind. Guess that's why the Napster advertisement ranked dead last. [] .

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651833)

Yeah, except:
1) It is proprietary. And people are much more likely to be annoyed by WMA DRM than Apple's.
2) This only works if users are being locked out of much better deals. It doesn't matter if there are 10 WMA shops offering you worse offers than the one iTMS.
3) People are by default rather posessive. For the $$$ people spend on e.g. a car, studies show many people would be better off just taking a taxi every time. When it is temporary (e.g. renting over owning), when it is non-tangible (e.g. online download over cd), people are irrational and value it to less than it is worth. Napster is trying to pull both at the same time.

Overall, I think they're screwed.

Re:Not exactly a winning marketing angle. (4, Insightful)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651873)

You can't really point at the defacto standard, that people know and love, and scream "proprietary, proprietary!" Proprietary it may be, but it's a convoluted and diluted message that that will just confuse consumers.

Example A: Microsoft Internet Explorer vs web standards.

Lots of people will bitch and moan that IE doesn't support the W3C standards to the letter and then say that IE is using propreitary ActiveX technology. However, with 90% of the browser market aren't they now the de-facto standard around the world just as a matter of their dominance?

Apple's reply to Napster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651722)

Apple can do it too. Why not?

Oh come now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651724)

I'm not a fan of Napster's model, but I'm also not a fan of paying $1 for 128kb/s music with DRM on it.

Its medium fidelity for high fidelity prices.

What's worse, is I can't sell the songs to somebody else.

I know Apple fans hate when I say this, but just because Apple isn't as bad as the others doesn't make them good. It just makes them less bad.

The iTMS music store isn't a good deal for anybody except Apple and the RIAA members.

Re:Oh come now... (1)

twiztidlojik (522383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651785)

iTMS isn't even a good deal for Apple, except that it encourages purchase of the iPod. Apple makes a ridiculously low profit, like 1 cent per song sold.

No thanks. (1)

say__10 (768448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651725)

I will stick to my iPod Mini I purchased last week. Does there service even compare to iTunes in the amount of music? I would never go with them because of the DRM'd player, but I am just curious if they have the library that iTunes has.

Re:No thanks. (-1, Troll)

afabbro (33948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651756)

I would never go with them because of the DRM'd player,

But you would go with Apple's DRM'd player. Brilliant.

Re:No thanks. (1)

say__10 (768448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651864)

The player has no DRM, I can play anything I download or rip myself, and by the use of Hymn strip the files I purchase from iTunes of the DRM. Perhaps you should read up a bit more.

Maybe I'm too old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651728)

But I don't see the point of buying DRM'd music at the iTunes store that costs as much as the same music on a permanent medium without any DRM. If you want to buy an album, it's usually cheaper to buy the CD.

Re:Maybe I'm too old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651897)

I don't know today's music you get one song on a album that worth your saying $15.99 is a song deal?

Re:Maybe I'm too old (1)

theid0 (813603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651899)

CDs in a music shop: $16.95 + tax

Same album on the iTMS: $9.99

Using your Mastercard to purchase the album and download it in 30 seconds...

Mktg Lesson #1: Don't Call Your Target Mkt Stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651729)

Napster CEO Chris Gorog: "We're going to be communicating to people that it's stupid to buy an iPod."

By saying this, he's essentially implying that everyone who owns an iPod is stupid. I don't see any iPod users being persuaded to switch to Napster's service thanks to Mr. Gorog's opinion of them, but considering the size of the iPod's market share, Napster needs to court current iPod/iTMS users, not denigrate them.

Besides that, stupid people are his target market-- who else would think paying $15 per month FOREVER (or your music collection disappears) is a good deal?

Yeah, ask the Democrats about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651750)

Calling people that disagreed with them "stupid" sure didn't help them in the past election.

in his latest ad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651731)

PDiddy says "Vote for Napster or DIE..."

It's not working (1)

Xeo 024 (755161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651739)

Their marketing strategy is not working. They've been voted [] as having the worst ad during the Superbowl and more imporantly I think their argument just isn't reaching anyone.

"$10,000 to fill your iPod vs. $14.95 per month with Napster"

Re:It's not working (5, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651773)

$10,000 to fill your iPod vs. $14.95 per month with Napster

My iPod is pretty full already, $0, largely due to songs I downloaded from Napster a few years ago.

Oh? I was supposed to delete those?

Re:It's not working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651800)

This isn't shocking.

The advert is just plain dull for a start. There isn't much going on. There's subtle, then there's comatose.

And instead of crafting a commercial around a message (one which really isn't that hard to convey), they hold up a sign. A sign which people need to read. And squint to read too, which is perhaps not what you want to encourage when later in the ad, your 'gotcha' is in squinty text too (the part about losing the music when you stop paying).

I'm an Apple fan yes, but I still wish their competition didn't strive so hard to be so mediocre (and I certainly can't be the only one still uneasy over the Napster brand necrophilia).

Re:It's not working (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651805)

I don't think that means the marketing strategy isn't working. It just means it wasn't as funny as what the the, superbowl-watching people thought it should be. .001% of the population may not have voted the advertisement the most popular, but with millions and millions of people watching, who's counting?

Re:It's not working (1)

buttersnout (832768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651883)

and that is so misleading too because the ipod you are filling is 40g and the 14.95 is what you pay to fill a 5g player. also the did the math wrong and added 100 dollars to the price to fill an ipod. .99 != 1

Marketing can get you only so far (4, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651743)

You can market to a person only to an extent. Ultimately the product has to live up to at least a little of the hype. If you get marketed into buying something that isn't good, the hype is gone, and the marketer has lost a customer no matter how many commercials he runs.

Is the iPod just a case of marketing? No. Sure there is plenty of marketing involved, both traditional and word of mouth. But once a person gets the iPod, they tend to like it. A lot. They personalize it in their minds. It's "their" iPod. It's very successful not because of the commercials but because the end product delivers, and often delivers more than they expected ("it knows what I want to hear more than I do!")

So Napster can throw as much money as they want in commercials, and bad mouth iPods as much as they want. They'll convince some people. And a subset of them really will be happy, for they can listen to all new music all the time and thrash through thousands of new songs. But a lot of people who buy the Napster marketing pitch will notice two things: 1) They have to keep paying forever, no matter what, or else they lose it all; and 2) They have to give up their iPod, something they've grown attached to.

The Napster reality won't live up to the hype for most people. In contrast, the iPod reality exceeds the hype for most people. Do the math...

Re:Marketing can get you only so far (2, Insightful)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651797)

I have a suspicion that the "Do the Math" campaign that Napster seems to be running right now, is going to do pretty much nothing. I don't think they'll win over anyone that -already- uses the iTunes Music Store. Why? Because they're incompatible - on the software, and hardware levels.

Odds are, if someone's using the iTMS, they already have an iPod. If they already have an iPod, they won't be able to listen to Napster's form of DRM. If they already have iTunes songs, they won't be able to listen to those on Napster-compatible devices. So where's the practical reason to switch?

There isn't one. Napster's pretty much hoping to create a whole new all-you-can-download market, which is going to collapse hard as soon as someone releases a Napster music file DRM stripper. People will go ahead and legally download thousands of tracks, crack them, then cancel. The RIAA will not like this.

What are the restrictions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651744)

So I skimmed through the article and saw no mention of what the restrictions are on the files received through this service. Granted, this is Forbes so I doubt they much care. Is anyone familiar with what sort of restrictions exist on these "Janus 'enabled'" files in comparison to iTunes files?

ie. Can you burn them to CD? If so how often? How many devices can the file be used on simultanously, etc.

Re:What are the restrictions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651802)

You're prohibited from copying them, opening them, talking about them and dreaming about them

Other than that, they're quite flexible. You can delete them any time you want.

Still The Wrong Route To Take (1)

Special_K_21 (821393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651745)

Consumers want all you can eat and want to own the music. What good are music files if you can't burn them to a CD, take them to a friend's, whatever. This DRM stuff is dumb dumb dumb. The ideal thing would have been to charge $10/month for the original Napster when it first came out. People would have paid it and the RIAA croneys would have made money hand over fist without even setting up any servers or anything.

Now the best we can hope for is something like that Lindows fellow set up. $.88 and no DRM just a good ol MP3.

For now I will stick with The Russians got it right on that one. It's cheap, you can choose the format you want, and no DRM. If someone in the US were allowed to do the same thing (even charging double allofmp3's rates) tons of music would be sold. TONS.

Just Say No to DRM (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651747)

I list to internet radio stations on Real or shoutcast on XMMS.

You can pick up just about every public radio station in the US.

Why a subscription service can work. (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651755)

I am not saying it will but the story submitted missed out on the fact that people already pay reoccuring charges to access to stuff that they can get free elsewhere.

Cell Phones : The amounts people dump on these is stupendous.

XM/Sirius : Can't get reception unless you pay.

Cable/Satellite : Same again. Sure you can get it another way but your paying for a package.

This type of service will do fine for those out there who want music for the house, many people overlook this application, or just want to stay current on their "mp3 player" without buying music they may not play again next month.

My problem is that I like to make MP3 CDs for my car. With iTunes I have to burn all my purchased music to audio CD format and rip it back overlaying the purchased version otherwise iTunes will not let me write the song to CD (no AAC to MP3 direct conversion allowed - I am curious if they don't block burn to CD - rip back one day).

If a car MP3 player played DRM protected music I think services like Napster will take off like wildfire. The key to success is to open many ways to play this music your purchased. A portable MP3 player should be able to be defined as "my car" just as much as "my RIO" (fwiw I used to have an iPod - but it DIED! - I may get another one day)

So... Where is Apple in all of this? I am not sure, but preventing other players from synching up with the iPod is still a major flaw. It might not hurt them now but like the mid 80s proved superior items only go so far. Competitors will find the key to taking you down and you will get buried unless you act. Apple lost a good thing before and they seem to be on track to eventually do it again.

Re:Why a subscription service can work. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651795)

I agree.

Unfortunately Digital restrictions managment is here to stay. Apple has the best DRM ifyou have to have DRM. Everybody is equal, unlike some WMA's where each artist can demand seperate rights.

Now Apple will have to open up Fairplay. I figure by the time the 500 millionth song is downloaded Apple will have Fairplay licensed to others. In players or stores I know not which.

Bad idea... (1)

druid_getafix (609536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651758)

Telling your customers they are stupid is never a good idea. Actually believing it is worse!!

Didn't we already try this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651759)

Subscription-based music downloads have been around long before iTunes, yet the iTunes music store flattened them. And now Napster thinks that adding portability will be enough to dethrone iTunes?

As the Ticos say: "Y yo con los ojos azules."

Napster To Campaign Aggressively Against iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651760)

.. And inevitably fail.

You heard it here first.

I'm sure they'll dump enough money on a 'sales campaign' to give any ad agency an orgasm. In the end you know it will be futile. Too many greedy entities that want their cut, no one thinking about actually giving consumers a product that they want or can use.
I honestly thing apple has chance to succeed with itunes/itms/etc because they seem to actually care about end user experience.

Let's compare, shall we? (5, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651775)

iTMS + iPod
+Huge install base

+Awesome selection of music - could be better, but it absolutely blows away anything shy of Amazon, and terrestrial stores can't hold a candle to it.

+Widely considered the best portable player made

+DRM is fairly transparent and can easily be legally circumvented, and even more easily, well... *cough* []

-Let's face it: iTMS is a fantastic idea, but about as much of a cludgy resource whore as a dolled-up media player can be

+Has the Napster name, which may mean something to someone that's been living in a cave for the past 4 years, but probably not

-Absolutely craptastic selection of music

-WMA files aren't any more widely supported by the portable market than AAC, who are they trying to kid? Sure, more player models support WMA, but take away the ones that aren't even remotely competetive with the iPod and the iPod mini, and all you're really left with is the iRiver HP-120 and the Creative Zen Micro.

-Their DRM scheme is geared more towards music rental than music purchase.

So... what "advantages" are Napster touting, again?

Like P2P? (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651777)

P2P doesn't wipe out your collection when you stop participating. iTunes is much closer in that respect. Once you pay the $0.99/song fee you just got something at least vaguely resembling a property right.

What i don't get... (4, Interesting)

clymere (605769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651788) why Apple, or someone hasn't sued them in some fashion over their commerical.

It states repeatedly that you can get MP3's to put on a Napster-supporting MP3 player.

From what I understand, their service and players are using WMA, with DRM of course.

MP3 != WMA. These are both very specific things. Had they just said "songs", or "music" it would not be an issue. They chose to say MP3 and I fail to see how thats not an outright lie. That oversight alone could be the nail in the coffin for them.

Phillips had similar issues with the RIAA labeling DRM-enabled CD's as official "Compact Discs." Phillips owns the rights to that name, and since the DRM broke the ability for those disks to play in many players, Phillips felt it was damaging their IP to claim they were CD's. They sued and won.

Re:What i don't get... (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651835) why Apple, or someone hasn't sued them in some fashion over their commerical.

It states repeatedly that you can get MP3's to put on a Napster-supporting MP3 player.

Because you'd have to convince a lawyer (read: non technical person with their head lodged firmly in their backside) that a music file isn't an "MP3"?

Just a thought.


Re:What i don't get... (1)

clymere (605769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651898)

lawyers(and lawsuits!) thrive on trivial technicalities.

it would be no great task to trot out dozens of experts to explain all the ways the two files are defintly not the same.

i'm guessing either noone has thought of it, or their lawyers managed to cover their asses in some way before airing it.

it still seems to me like they just didn't think it through. any intelligent lawyer would have told them to be less specific.

Re:What i don't get... (1)

buttersnout (832768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651908)

Another thing is that I believe you pay 15/month to for 5g of music. They are comparing this to the price of 40g of music on an ipod (which is stupid in the first place because you don't have to fill it with itunes store music). also rounding .99 to 1 caused them to add 100 dollars to the price of the ipod

bankrupt? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651790)

What happens if napster goes under? do i lose access to all my music?

Oh, that's right if iTunes was to shutdown i'd still lose all my music once i deactivated my computer after they go out of business.

now how exactly is napster better?

Re:bankrupt? (2, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651903)

Forget them going out of business.

How the hell can they activate/deactivate my music if I lose my internet connection?

Napster playing to Microsoft? (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651792)

Here's a thought that came to mind...

Napster is attacking Apple's iPod while promoting DRM and subscription-based music collections. Didn't Bill Gates at one time make statemaents to the effect that someday software would be a subscription-based service?

What would one say if I were to say that Napster is starting to take the attitude towards music that MS is taking towards software? Could Napster be striving to be the MS of the music download industry (without the aspects that could give its strategy muscle, like money and market share...)?

Just a thought...

Sorry, Napster... (4, Insightful)

amper (33785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651796)

I've got three iPod's now, with a fourth one on the way (a 1GB Shuffle). I'm not paying a subscription fee to listen to my iPod's, and of the 1400-odd songs currently on my iPod, a grand total of about 20 have come off of the iTunes store. I only buy things that I would probably never want to actually own in CD format from iTunes. If the music is good enough, I'll buy the CD and rip it. If it's not good enough, I probably don't want to hear it, anyway.

I use a 250GB external FireWire 800 LaCie d2 extreme to archive all my CD's in Sound Designer II format with Toast 6 Platinum and then rip them to 192KBps AAC's for the iPod's. With this strategy, I calculate that I can fit *at least* 400 CD's on this drive, which happens to be approximately the amount of CD's that I currently own.

And, I keep a full installation of Mac OS X on my iPod's, so I can boot up machines and fix hard drives. The Shuffle on the way will replace my USB keys for quick file transfers between Mac's and PC's. With 1400-odd songs on a 40GB iPod *and* Mac OS X, I still have somthing like 30GB of space left (and 300 more CD's to rip).

I don't need or want to support Microsoft's overly-restrictive Digital Restrictions Management scheme. The subscription model is doomed to failure--just look at satellite radio! Meanwhile, Apple has proven that the iTunes Music Store is a viable business model, with over 250-plus million sales to date.

Napster's pathetic Super Bowl ad was the lowest ranked of all the commercials shown that night. Need anyone ask why?

And what happens when you decide not to pay the subscription fee? No more music.

Re:Sorry, Napster... (1)

clymere (605769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651859)

you sir, are making some really interesting use of your ipods!

i've been meaning to come up with a good method of ripping all of the CDs i currently own into mp3...but never got around to it.

I also have been meaning to create a data partition on my archos mp3 player...and never got around to it. storing OS's on there and using it as a rescue disk is DEFINTLY interesting.

I must admit, it seems like it was awfully easy to do all those things with mac+ipod. I am really starting to give more thought to replacing the Slackware laptop with a Powerbook next time around.

Hrm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651806)

I am confused.

First off, their marketing department seems to have caught a bad case of retard.

Second, how are songs for personal mp3 players property? I can go to a museum, take a photo, and print it out for my personal use ( which i've done ). If I'm not distributing mp3s, why can't I listen to them? I'm not making any money off of them at all.

Why is P2P less viable than any of this, disregarding RIAA silliness?

Ripe for cracking (5, Interesting)

aoty (533561) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651829)

I'm going to laugh my ass off when some 15 year old releases a hack that strips the DRM out of these Napster songs. Millions and millions of "rented" songs will become permanent non-DRM overnight.

Re:Ripe for cracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11651909)

And it will happen, it happened to apple. iTunes songs play fine when I boot to linux under xmms now :).

There was a slashdot story on this recently. But I am too lazy to find it.

It just blows up the napster business model a bit more, when it happens for them, than Jynmn does for apple.

I don't understand the marketing geniuses (1)

FZer0 (585622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651845)

Really, what are they thinking? "Let's bash the coolest super-popular gadget in the last five years and make them buy another gadget so they can buy from our store! The Napster name is all we need to convince them!" Even if everyone loved DRM this would be stupid.

Reason Napster is Doomed (1)

drrjv (708816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651854)

Subscription services (Napster et. al.) are doomed for the following reasons: 1) People who love music, usually have a certain library of artists they want to 'own' (do I want to buy all the Neil Young or Led Zeppelin or whatever or rent it for $15/mth forever). 2) People who are not into music won't want to pay $15 a month to listen to/have access to a million songs. 3) The people inbetween will borrow/rip/copy their friends music. Nice knowin' ya Napster (your welcome for the free marketing advice)

Napster? (1)

krray (605395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651869)

If you fling enough shit, does the smell go away?

Napster (1)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651875)

Napster was dead before it was even announced- but because it has a lot of anti-apple investors it can waste money, and continue to fail slowly.
There will always be people who just 'don't get it'-- but it seems that in the case of the iPod/iTunes, people understand it- they recognize it is better. So the Napster/Microsoft model of selling crap products to people who don't know the difference isn't really panning out for them.

Napster might succeed (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651887)

I almost agree with the Napster CEO... Why buy music from iTunes when you can buy the same music, with a non-DRMed hard copy (used cd) for less?

If you like to listen to lots and lots of music and you don't want to bother with managing a large collection of CDs or iTunes files, then Napster makes sense.

It actually promotes something that Apple is thought to have a monopoly on: simplicity.

On the other hand... it also hurts simplicity by forcing a choice. Do I buy an iPod and subscribe to iTunes or do I buy a Napster compatible device and subscribe to it? For me the answer is neither, I don't need a glorified walkman.

Unfortunately for Napster, the answer for a huge number of other people is "iPod's are soooooooo cool, my friends have one, my dog has one, I want one!"

It's not 'your' music! (1)

Rendus (2430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651891)

The Napster model is a subscription to put as much music as you want on your player.

Not, "Buy the songs, then pay us $15 to play it." Rather, "Subscribe to the service, and throw as much music as you want on your player." You're not buying the music, even in the CD/ITMS sense of, "I paid for the right to play this song as much as I want."

It's like software (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651894)

Does the fact that iTMS is iPod-only make it a nonviable service? Is Windows-only software nonviable? When you are marketing towards a very large section of a market, it's okay if your product isn't for everyone.

I'll Take "None Of The Above," Thanks (1)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11651901)

I seem to be one of the three or four geeks left in the world that does *not* own an iPod, so forgive me if I sound backwards. In addition to craving every gadget that comes out like nearly every one of my fellow geeks does, I'm also an audiophile. I need to have the *best* sound available when I listen to music, and I hardly ever listen to just *a song;* it's either the entire album or nothing. I buy most of my music in CD form off of eBay, since most of what I listen to (modern progressive rock and European metal) isn't available on any online music service.

With that in mind, it should be obvious that I will never use a service like iTunes or Napster. Why? Because, for one, no matter how you stack it up, they are impersonal. With a CD, I can buy it and play it wherever I want. With either music service, there are severe restrictions on how, when, and where I can play it. Want to play those songs you downloaded off of iTunes or Napster on your expensive 7.1 surround-sound entertainment system? Tough cookies; you're restricted to either your PC or your iPod.

Either one is also somewhat expensive. iTunes costs at least $12 for a full album, which is about the cost of your average CD, but you also have lots of added external costs: the time and bandwidth it takes to download the songs, even more time if you want to upload it to an iPod, and the cost of HDD storage space. You're also not getting the packaging that a CD provides. Napster... I don't even need to mention, since if you plan on keeping your music for more than a year you will most likely be spending much more than if you decided to purchase a CD.

And all of the above is assuming they have the music that I want in the first place!

No, I think I'll keep my CD's, thanks, until the iTuneses and Napsters of the world can give me music I want, the way I want it, at a price that can better that of CD's.

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