Best Buy Buys Napster

Aron Schatz
September 15, 2008
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Who still uses Napster after being gutted by the RIAA? Whoever it is, Best Buy wants a piece.


In Napster, retail heavyweight Best Buy is getting itself a one-time contender in the field of online entertainment. A decade ago, Napster was virtually synonymous with digital music--a notoriety that earned it the wrath of the music industry. That contributed to its demise, along with the rise of alternatives such as Kazaa and LimeWire. Napster eventually reinvented itself as a subscription service, and it says it now counts 700,000 subscribers. Best Buy plans to use both Napster's technological capabilities and its subscriber base to reach consumers looking to explore digital music and other forms of entertainment "beyond music subscriptions" over a variety of electronic devices. The acquisition, Best Buy contends, will give it extra oomph in dealing with record labels, movie studios, and hardware makers.


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