February 22, 2006, 12:00 AM

Napster sees mobile commerce as paramount in going global

Napster announced a joint venture marketing and mobile commerce relationship with Ericsson in June. Now the two companies are rolling out products and services that extend Napster’s digital music and content to international markets.

Digital music company Napster Inc. sees marketing deals with wireless web and mobile phone service providers as a key strategy in going global.

Napster, No. 269 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, announced a joint venture marketing and mobile commerce relationship with Ericsson, a global telecommunications services provider, in June. Now the two companies are rolling out products and services that extend Napster’s digital music and content to international markets.

Last week Ericsson announced that users of its wireless cell phone and handheld services in select European, Asian and North American markets can subscribe to Napster Moblie, a mobile commerce program that enables subscribers to purchase artist images, ring tones and full-length songs. As a value-added service, Napster Mobile subscribers also can use an integrated application to download and hear content on their mobile handsets.

“Napster Mobile enables wireless operators to offer their customers a superior music experience from a recognized digital music leader,” says Napster president Brad Duea. “The combination of Napster’s music expertise with Ericsson’s mobile music solution and wireless industry proficiency will appeal to wireless carriers and customers alike.”

Under their joint venture, Napster is responsible for music programming, full-length track content aggregation, personal computer software and backend integration to Ericsson’s wireless service network. In turn, Ericsson provides handset-specific content such as ring tones, images and logos. Ericsson also handles network functions, including handling operator sales, wireless application development, operator integration, hosting, content settlement through Ericsson’s Internet Payment eXchange, and operator support.

“Operators gain access to one of the biggest digital music brands in the world through Napster Mobile,” says Ericsson executive vice president of global services Hans Vestberg. “We feel confident the service will allow mobile operators to seize opportunities for digital music on the mobile phone and PC that they might not have had access to before.”

 

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