LOS ANGELES (Hypebot) – Napster is adding a new hybrid tier to its music subscription service that includes unlimited computer only streaming plus 5 free downloads for $5 monthly. While compatible with most web connected music devices, there is no mobile component to the new offering.
The $5 monthly tier will be promoted primarily in Best Buy stores via signage an prepaid cards. When compared to similarly priced cards from iTunes and Amazon, the inclusion of unlimited streaming could prove attractive to consumers.
Introduction of the new tier just days before the 10th anniversary of Napster is merely a welcome coincidence according to Napster COO Christopher Allen. "It wasn’t any one thing, but a combination of things, and the maturation of the market as well. The interoperability and the discovery at the cost of a latte a month. The cost of participation now is dramatically lower," Allen told Billboard.
Since its purchase by Best Buy, Napster has been positioned as a subscription service with download sales a secondary business available only to subscribers. The new service could broaden that subscription base beyond those willing to pay $12.95-$14.95 for the more traditional service which will still be available. The addition of 5 downloads per month sets Napster apart from free ad supported music services like imeem and Spotify.