updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue October 3, 2006
Napster Japan launches
Napster today announced it has launched in Japan, which will directly compete against Apple's iTunes Music Store and music-enabled cellular phones. Napster Japan, a joint venture between America's Napster and Tower Records Japan, is set to introduce a service that allows members to download any number of songs from its 1.5 million song collection for $16.80/month, according to Reuters. Napster Japan will also allow users to transfer that music onto compatible music players, and allows consumers to purchase songs without a monthly subscription. "It would have been very difficult for us to enter this market without a local partner," said Napster President Brad Duea. "Japan is a very unique market." Napster Japan's music offering currently consists of roughly 90 percent non-Japanese tracks, but the company hopes to expand the number of local songs available. The new service hopes to lure 1 million subscribers over a three year period with 1 million individual downloads per month by March of 2007.