Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from David Kushner

Napster 2.0

The new “legal” version of Napster launches today. The question is: will anyone care? The latest incarnation of the service aims to capitalize on the file-sharing mania that the original version so controversially unleashed. Napster boasts a database of 500,000…

  • October 29, 2003

The new “legal” version of Napster launches today. The question is: will anyone care? The latest incarnation of the service aims to capitalize on the file-sharing mania that the original version so controversially unleashed. Napster boasts a database of 500,000 songs which can be downloaded for 99 cents a piece or $9.95 for an entire album. The digital media company, Roxio, forked over $5 million for the all-mighty brand name. It’ll be interesting to see whether Napster can transcend its bad reputation. Can it appeal to the mainstream surfers who were too nave or scared to mess with the real thing? Napster has already made one shrewd move–offering gift cards similar to those you can buy at, say, Barnes and Noble or the Gap. This circumvents one of the major roadblocks facing their prime audience: teenagers. Instead of having to hustle an American Express from mom and dad to download the new Marilyn Manson, a kid can use one of these cards instead. And, best of all for Roxio, the company doesn’t have to pay any credit card fees. Apparently the new Napster has one thing that original founder Shawn Fanning never managed to devise: a business strategy.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.