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iTunes second to Napster in digital music brands

updated 09:05 am EST, Tue December 7, 2004

iTunes second to Napster

Marketing research firm today announced that Apple's iTunes and Napster 2.0 are the two most recognized in the digital music industry. The report said that despite the ongoing influx of new and refined online music offerings, both iTunes and Napster 2.0 continue to "capture the American fee-based digital music mind space." However, iTunes was second to the Napster brand. New findings from TEMPO, the company's quarterly study of digital music behaviors, reveal that in summer 2004, American downloaders aged 12 and older were equally as likely to be aware of Napster 2.0 and Apple's iTunes on a top-of-mind basis (20% each). However, when prompted with brand names, more than four out of five (79%) downloaders recognize the Napster 2.0 brand, while nearly half (46%) are aware of iTunes.

"Over the course of the past year, we've witnessed the high profile
introductions of numerous legitimate online music services. These data
indicate that while consumers may be cognizant of many of these services,
iTunes and Napster 2.0 have emerged as top-of-mind brand leaders. It's
particularly interesting to note that Apple's iTunes Music Store, although
introduced only 18 months ago, demonstrates consumer top-of-mind awareness
equal to that of the Napster brand, which was established in the late '90s.
What this suggests is that brand maturity is not a prime indicator of category
ownership in the still youthful digital music market," said Matt Kleinschmit,
Vice President for Ipsos-Insight, and author of the TEMPO research.

The report also noted that several other brands were popular, including RealPlayer Music Store (41%), MusicMatch (36%), RealOne RadioPass (31%), (31%) and (30%).

In addition to specific digital music service brand affinities, the study also found that those who have downloaded music are most likely to place importance on good sound quality, low prices, a broad music selection, and perceptions of a good value as specific traits of a digital music service. In contrast, the survey found that less importance was placed on perceptions
of a hip or cool site or the ability to exchange ideas or recommendations with
other service users.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Way to go, Napster!

    Of course, Napster achieved its notoriety (or infamy) as a source for illegal, free downloads, and while today's Napster may be a source of legal, for-money downloads, I believe the name recognition is largely due to its original incarnation. Despite coming second, iTunes is still the most commercially successful digital music service.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Napster more recognized

    Since Napster has higher brand recognition, why are they so far behind in sales (the only number that really counts). Could it be that their service and model suck? Could it be that Apple just know what they're doing and are doing it much better than all their competition? It obviously isn't because they are the only online music store that people know about.

    Well done Apple. More evidence that you are the best at what you do.

  1. mosespatrader

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't agree

    I have friends/family who are not computer savy, don't know Apple products. However they know of iTunes and not of Napster. I think the only people that know Napster are the ones who also know of the "old" napster.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Lies, damn lies, and statistics!

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not necessarily helpful

    Napster brand recognition may not be at all helpful to the new Napster product.

    People know Napster as being free, and potentially offering any MP3 they could imagine with no restrictions. When they go to the actual new Napster, they will be surprised to find something totally contrary to their expectations.

    This doesn't sell music. The name will draw people, but only because of the expectation. They would have better luck selling to a smaller audience without such an expectation.

    I mean... If Coca-Cola released an unsweetened beverage, and marketed as being Coke-- how many people would be pleased when they took a swig?

  1. VadersCape

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not 2.0

    There's no way they recognize Napster 2.0 more than iTunes.

    They recognize Napster as the way to swap illegal copies of music. So by the time they get to reading the '2.0' part, the survey taker has already checked 'YES' and moved on.

    Shields to full ignore, captain.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is completly irrelevant if recognition does not result in sales. It's like bein top ranked in search engines but people buying at a different site. What good did all the search engine work do you?

    It's all about the sales baby!
    Go Apple!

    Folding for TeamMacOSX as G5
    Join the #1 Mac Team!

  1. Truepop

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Not necessarily he...

    I'm with you on that one.

  1. bfalchuk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As a former researching in brand recognition, this is c***. It's not Napster 2.0, it's Napster. The people thinking of it aren't thinking of the legal service. This is why Roxio bought Napster...the name is synonymous with digital music. If you could supress this recognition, and just looked at legal downloads, I'm quite sure iTunes would be on the iPod would with MP3 players. Who would mention the Napster name with MP3 players? They have one (from Samsung), but no one gives two craps about it.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hello. iPod.

    iTunes is just a tool - iPod is the brand. iTunes is a conduit for the real magnet that draws and keeps new customers.

    People don't make the distinction between a piece of software that they download with and the thing they use to listen to it - they simply think "The iPod is for downloaded music". Ask them which music serivce they've heard of: iPod or Napster. They'll say iPod first and foremost.

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