Napster partners with MusicNet

Matt Chock

As a result of its recent loss in court, Napster has decided to team its services with MusicNet, the first legal music distribution center over the Internet.

MusicNet has contracts with three of the top music record labels – Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann AG and EMI Recorded Music.

“Our relationship with MusicNet underscores our commitment to supporting members of the Napster community,” said Hank Barry, interim CEO of Napster.

Some major record labels still are not a part of this combined service, namely those recently engaged in lawsuits against Napster.

Without the cooperation of these labels, Napster’s music selection will remain somewhat limited.

The use of MusicNet’s services will drive Napster to eventually begin charging a fee for the use of its downloading site. The amount has still not been determined.

The future fee might affect the number of people using Napster.

“I would probably stop using Napster if they started charging for it,” said University junior Paul Peterson.

“But it would depend on how much it would cost to use and how much of a pain the billing was, but I definitely wouldn’t pay more than $5 a month.”

This is an attitude Napster is going to need to be aware of from students across the country.

A large percentage of Napster users are college students who might be driven to use other free sites.

“I have started using other sites like Audio Galaxy because of the problems that we were having at the dorms with getting Napster,” Shruti Mathur, a University sophomore, said.

“I might be willing to pay to use Napster, because I know that it is a good service, but it would depend on how it looks after the changes it goes through with MusicNet,” Mathur added.

Napster’s future will depend on its ability to remain innovative and please the users it attracted in the past.


Matt Chock covers business and welcomes comments to [email protected]