Napster Mobile Euro Debut

Napster, formally the scourge of record companies when it was the music pirate’s haven, has now launched a legitimate Mobile service, the first of it’s kind in Europe.

Later this month O2 Ireland will be featuring Napster Mobile’s catalog of over three million full-length songs, artist images and ring tones on its iMode handsets. The company said that non-i-Mode customers will get the service by March of next year on O2 Active.

"The European launch of Napster Mobile on O2 Ireland is a significant achievement for Napster, as it will mark the introduction of a comprehensive Napster mobile experience in a country where Napster does not currently offer a PC-based service," said Brad Duea, Napster’s president. "We’re very pleased to be partnering with O2 on the European launch of Napster Mobile, and are excited to give music fans in Ireland the ability to enjoy the Napster music experience."

Through Napster Mobile, O2 Ireland customers will be able to search, browse, preview and purchase full-length songs from the world’s largest mobile music catalog and to enjoy Ericsson-aggregated personalization content via their i-mode wireless handsets. Beginning early next year, customers will also be able to enjoy these features through wap- and java-enabled handsets. The Napster Mobile handset application, which will be pre-loaded on select i-Mode handsets from O2, gives customers access to Napster programming, including featured artists and top tracks of the day, and contains a recommendation engine which makes content recommendations based upon each user’s personal musical taste. In February of next year, O2’s Napster Mobile service will begin featuring dual-delivery functionality, meaning all content purchased through Napster Mobile will be simultaneously delivered to both the customer’s handset and to their PC.

Napster Mobile is based on an Ericsson service delivery platform tailored for media delivery. Ericsson will host, integrate and manage the round-the- clock-operations of the service for O2 under a managed service agreement. The agreement also includes content aggregation and digital rights management and is based on a risk- and revenue-share model.