May 27, 2008, 12:00 AM

Napster whistles a happier financial tune in fiscal 2008

Napster is reporting record revenue and a sharply lower net loss for the 2008 fiscal year. The music service posted a net loss of $16.5 million on revenue of $127.5 million compared to a net loss of $36.8 million on revenue of $111 million last year.

Napster is reporting record revenue and a sharply lower net loss for the 2008 fiscal year.

Napster, No. 113 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, generated a net loss of $16.5 million on revenue of $127.5 million, compared with a net loss of $36.8 million on revenue of $111 million in fiscal 2007. In the fourth quarter, the company had a net loss of $4.3 million on revenue of $30.7 million vs. a net loss of $8.5 million on sales of $29.1 million in Q4 of 2007.

"Napster concludes fiscal 2008 with annual revenue growth of 15%, positive cash flow throughout the fiscal year and a significant year-over-year improvement in bottom line results," says chairman and CEO Chris Gorog. “We believe Napster`s music offerings are now the most comprehensive and easy to use in the industry, providing music fans with the option to enjoy unlimited streaming, portable subscription, a broad array of mobile offerings and now the premiere MP3 store on the web."

In the first quarter of fiscal 2009, Napster is forecasting revenue to range from $30 million to $31 million. “We are also targeting relatively flat operating expenses, losses, earnings per share and cash flow," says Napster interim chief financial officer Suzanne M. Colvin.

Napster credits its stronger financial performance to more balanced and effective new business development. Napster, which expects its worldwide subscriber base to reach approximately 760,000 this fiscal year, says the foundation for future growth will come from mobile commerce and expansion overseas. For example, AT&T; plans to make Napster Mobile available to more than 12 million additional customers beginning this summer. Napster Mobile, which includes access to a catalog of more than five million songs and personalized content such as ringtones, already is available to subscribers in seven countries, Napster says. Napster on May 20 also rolled out a new MP3 download store.

“The substantial expansion of Napster mobile`s addressable audience among AT&T; customers and our latest deployment with the leading wireless carrier in the United Kingdom are exciting developments that should deliver a significant increase in mobile revenues in fiscal 2009," says Gorog.

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