Interview: Napster COO Christoper Allen


Napster_2Marking the launch of Napster’s new all MP3 download store, COO Christopher Allen answered a few questions exclusively for Hypebot.

HYPEBOT: What new services or points of differentiation will there be between Napster and competitors Rhapsody, Yahoo, Amazon and iTunes?

ALLEN: The breadth and depth of the catalog is a major differentiator. Consumers will finally have one destination to find all the music they love in mp3.  In addition, all the tracks will be sold in high audio quality 256kb bitrate, and will be accompanied by high resolution album art.

HYPEBOT: Subscription growth remains anemic across all services.  Does Napster remain committed to subscription?

ALLEN: Yes, subscription remains our core revenue model.  We believe that adding synergistic services such as our mp3 store will enhance the value of our subscription service.

HYPEBOT: What needs to change for subscription music to gain traction?

ALLEN: While several million people are currently enjoying unlimited on-demand access to streaming music services like Napster, there are several factors that will continue to help fuel this segment of the online music industry:

  • IP-connected devices that access web-based services (the more access points for the consumer, the more valuable subscription becomes)
  • Bundling of subscription music service with devices to give the user an integrated experience
  • Ongoing consumer awareness and education around people paying for unlimited access (both online and via portable device) to music services

MORE: Napster MP3 details and a first look.

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