Napster cosies up to AT&T for mobile music

While Napster seems down – shedding cash consistently while subscription services continue to fail to ignite consumer market share, the company has no intention to stop slugging it out in its attempt to consolidate its business.

Latest news sees Napster Mobile make its service available to 13 million AT&T Wireless customers in the US.

The service is now available on more than 25 AT&T smartphones and handsets, including BlackBerry Bold, AT&T Quickfire, Pantech Matrix and Samsung Propel.

The expansion of the supported handsets was made possible by less restrictive digital rights management (DRM) requirements from the labels and Napster’s adoption of more flexible technology.

Mark Collins, vice president of Consumer Products for AT&T’s wireless unit, said: “Music fans using our phones are hungry for this capability. As we’ve worked with Napster to make more phones ‘ready to rock,’ as we say, we’ve seen a strong corresponding rise in customers who are adopting Napster Mobile.”

AT&T customers can purchase and wirelessly download full-length songs from Napster Mobile for $1.99 each, which includes a copy that is automatically delivered to the customer’s PC. Napster Mobile is also available for a $7.49 monthly subscription, which includes five song downloads per month. Charges for downloads are billed to customers’ AT&T wireless bill.

Standard usage rates apply and “an unlimited data plan is highly recommended”, AT&T states – a point which underlines prohibitive data charges as one of the biggest barriers to wide adoption of mobile music services.

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