Napster Numbers

By Jon Newton 4/9/05

Hopes that Napster II may have been able to haul itself up by its boot-laces with its rent-an-mp3 scheme have been seriously dented by its first year-end figures.

It’s reporting that only 410,000 people have subscribed.

In the real world of online music, upwards of six million p2p music lovers are simultaneously online every minute of every day, and more than a billion files move around the Net every month, says p2p research firm Big Champagne.

Jon Newton

People who use Napster’s ‘To Go’ service find their entire music collections have gone the instant they stop paying their monthly mp3 rental fees.

You coud, "join Napster To Go tomorrow, pay $180 to maintain your subscription during the next year, and during that time, download tens of thousands of music tracks," says John Grubber on his Daring Fireball blog:

"But if you cancel your subscription next year, all of that music will stop working. It will stop working on your computer, and it will stop working on your little Napster-compatible portable player.”

And even while you’re subscribed, "you need to frequently re-sync your player to your network-connected PC, even if you haven’t downloaded more music, just so your player’s DRM software can check the status of your subscription,” he points out.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


The Samsung Yepp YH-999 20 GB Portable Media Center is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
What Makes a Journalist? Thoughts on Apple and Think Secret
iTunes Prices Too High
Can Free Broadcast TV Really Be Napsterized?


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