Bertelsmann, Napster to Develop Music Service
October 31, 2000 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Bertelsmann, Napster to Develop Music Service
As part of this arrangement, BMG will be providing a loan to Napster, with a warrant to acquire some of Napster's equity.

If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em!
posted by peterme (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The question is: Would you use a subscription-based Napster? If so, how much would you pay? What would be the best pay structure: by the song or monthly fee? Or would you just use Gnutella?
posted by jkottke at 8:12 AM on October 31, 2000

I have this one particular vision of a nightmare universe in which everything gets segmented up by record company, just like the "27 CDs for a zloty!" clubs. Here, pay $10 a month for all the music you want, but you'd better only want stuff that's published by BMG.

Every time someone cuts a deal with one of the record companies, or with just the "majors," I shudder. This could turn into a really nasty way of shutting out competition in the music world: co-opting every popular distribution service.
posted by grimmelm at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2000

If I'm paying a subscription fee, I want to leech right from the music companies big-ass, huge pipelined servers, not from Joe Cable User.

And whomever I'm paying a subscription fee too had damn well better have a big-ass, triple-backbone connected pipeline with uptime more reliable than a NASA rocket. Unreasonable? Yep, but until then I've got my Gnutella searches.

I'd also need to see exactly how much goes where. I'll happily pay for the service, but I'd expect for something without physical production and distribution costs, the artists had better be getting the majority of the money I'm shelling out for this service. Once everything's up and running, the fees involved in allowing leech access off a server deal mostly with used bandwidth.

I'd also like the option to switch my user package easily. Start with per song purchases, and if I exceed what the monthly charge would be, shoot me an email (use that data for Good, damn you!) and tell me "This month you exceeded the monthly charge by X dollars. If you download this much music every month, think about the savings you could be [err... making? saving? what's the proper verb here?] if you paid us regularily!"

But then, I guess thinking of user-respecting software is why I'm still a lowly coder, and not a multi-millionaire exec. :-)

obNapsterIsEvil: If you download from Napster, Napster and their emplyees make money from other peoples' work. If you download from Gnutella, no one (not even the artist, you petty thief! :-) makes money.

(eep. Unintentional screed. Damn that Napster! :-)
posted by cCranium at 11:02 AM on October 31, 2000

I'd pay per month fees for napster, in the 10-30 dollar range, but I hope there'd be some reliable servers instead of dropped downloads from every jane or john doe behind a firewall.

Actually instead of napster, if Amazon or CDnow sold mp3 versions, I'd buy those instead of CDs, and I'd do it often. But the only electronic versions I've seen from either place have been proprietary stuff like the liquid file format, and CDnow prices them at around $2.99 each, making a complete CD cost more than double what the physical copy does. Ludicrous.
posted by mathowie at 1:46 PM on October 31, 2000

If a subscription-based Napster gets going, I have half a mind to sign up just so I can start sending BMG an invoice every month for the use of my duplication facilities. After all, I paid for the computer, I paid for the RAID box, I pay to maintain the system, and I pay for the bandwidth; if they're going to profit from the copies of MP3 files I make, they'd damn well better start paying me royalties.

posted by Mars Saxman at 2:43 PM on October 31, 2000

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