Napster and Ericsson are establishing a global partnership to offer a complete, fully integrated digital music service for mobile operators.
The service will carry the known Napster brand of digital music and combine elements of Napster's popular PC offering and Ericsson's personalized music service. The Napster and Ericsson business model accommodates mobile operator participation in all revenue streams. The service is scheduled to go live in Europe over the next 12 months and will initially be offered to operators in select markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.
"Ericsson's world-leading wireless and telecommunications solutions experience, along with their exceptional client base, make them the ideal partner to deepen Napster's presence in the global mobile arena," said Chris Gorog, Napster's chairman and CEO. "Ericsson and Napster are uniquely suited to offer mobile operators a simple, cohesive and personalized digital music experience for their consumers."
The new service will support coordinated wireless and PC downloading of digital music in both subscription and a la carte models, and phone-based initiation will allow music library access for both mobile and PC usage. The service scales to current handset models and networks but can also accommodate next-generation technology for newer handsets on higher-speed networks and is designed to work on mobile phones from all major manufacturers that support content protected by digital rights management. The flexible platform delivers a complete digital music solution under one brand via a consistent user interface and with billing consolidated by mobile operators.
Napster's brand, catalog, label relationships, programming, PC and portable offerings will be combined with Ericsson's operator relationships, wireless development, integration, hosting, deployment and support and IPX charging systems. The service will allow mobile operators to seize growth opportunities for personalized digital entertainment on the mobile phone and PC and will also encompass ring tones, master tones, images, wallpaper and video content.