Napster’s lucky cat runs short of lives

We hear the bell ringing at Napster, where management are dealing with an executive board challenge on the one hand, while ending its once flagship university subscription schemes due to, well, our feedback was that students didn’t use it…

The company will phase out its university subscription program that gave students subsidized access to Napster’s music subscription service as part of their tuition fees.

The company said in a statement sent to P2P Blog that it will continue to maintain the program at a small number of schools, but not renew any contracts and not look for any new partners in higher education.

“This program is not a focus of Napster’s core strategy nor is it a significant source of revenue for the company. We have only a couple of thousand university subscribers,” the report observes.

Nice slice of downplay, but the fact remains that this is the same scheme Napster execs called “groundbreaking’ on launch in 2003/4. So groundbreaking that as of Q1 2007 the company had just 45,000 university subscribers, many of whom were signed up by their colleges, rather than of their own volition.

Napster right now ($1.33 per share) trades for less than the cash it has in hand. We think the company – famous for its cat logo – may need to use another of its nine lives.

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