Napster Partners With Circuit City
Napster has partnered with Circuit City and will create a co-branded service called Circuit City + Napster, It will postition Napster front and center in Circuit City’s stores giving them their first real brick-and-mortar presence.
At the end of April, consumers will have access to a slightly-altered version of Napster, which includes a subscription and a-la-carte offering, as well as a portability play that allows subscription access on PlaysForSure-compatible MP3 players. The deal will be officially unveiled at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) conference in Chicago next week.
Circuit City plans to entice new signups by offering a gratis first month, and five free song downloads. Fresh content and exclusive offers will also be pushed weekly, an approach that will help to lure new subscribers. Also in the mix are a number of discovery and community features, including personalized recommendations, message boards, and the ability to browse member collections.
The Future: Although on the surface this appears to be a good play for Napster, their association with Circuit City could hurt them in the long term. Several bets are on Circuit City to go under in the next few years due to poor management, horrendous customer service and a fast food retail attitude. While the Circuit City + Napster moniker leverages two well-recognized brand names, it will ultimately become a burden to Napster who will dissolve the association in less than 2 years.