Ericsson and Napster introduce Napster Mobile
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) the world’s leading telecommunications supplier, and Napster (NASDAQ: NAPS), the biggest brand in digital music, announce that Napster Mobile is now available to mobile network operators in select markets across Europe, North America and Asia.
This new comprehensive and feature-rich service allows consumers to purchase artist images, ring tones and full-length songs via WAP as well as via an easy to use integrated software application on their mobile handsets. Napster Mobile was formally debuted to mobile operators today at 3GSM in Barcelona and is the result of a global partnership forged by the companies in June of last year.
The Napster Mobile service combines elements of Napster’s popular PC offering and Ericsson’s personalized music service, currently utilized by more mobile operators than any other in the world. The Napster Mobile application has a look and feel similar to Napster’s award-winning PC software and includes Napster programming such as featured artists, top tracks of the day and new releases. User-friendly Napster Mobile also features a powerful recommendation engine, which offers content suggestions based upon each customer’s personal musical tastes.
Ericsson offers Napster Mobile as a hosted service, a business model that makes it easy, fast, and cost-efficient for operators to launch the service. The service includes mobile operator participation in all revenue streams.
The Napster Mobile service provides consumers with a simple way to search and browse Napster’s enormous music catalog and allows them to preview, purchase and play songs on their mobile handsets through an integrated music player.
Napster Mobile is also the first mobile music service to offer fully-integrated dual-delivery of music, meaning when consumers use their handsets to request content, a downloadable copy is sent directly to the phone and an additional copy is simultaneously sent to their PCs, enabling them to manage all of their content in one location. Using Napster’s award-winning PC software, consumers can listen to their purchased music, create play lists, rip and burn CDs and even transfer songs to other portable devices.
Napster Mobile is based on SDP Media, Ericsson’s service delivery platform tailored for media solutions, and works on handsets from all major manufacturers.
Brad Duea, Napster’s President says: “Napster Mobile enables wireless operators to offer their customers a superior music experience from a recognized digital music leader. We are confident that the combination of Napster’s music expertise with Ericsson’s mobile music solution and wireless industry proficiency will appeal to wireless carriers and customers alike.”
Hans Vestberg, Executive Vice President Global Services Ericsson, says: “Operators gain access to one of the biggest digital music brands in the world through Napster Mobile. We feel confident that the service will allow mobile operators to seize opportunities for digital music on the mobile phone and PC that they might not have had access to before.”
Napster is responsible for music programming, full-length track content aggregation, PC development, and backend integration to the service. Ericsson takes responsibility for aggregating handset specific content such as ring tones, images and logos, and handling operator sales, wireless application development, operator integration, hosting, content settlement through Ericsson Internet Payment eXchange (IPX), and operator support. Due to the customer benefits and the value of offering the impressive Napster catalog, there is great interest for Napster Mobile among operators worldwide. The dual delivery functionality will be available when the service launches in initial markets.
Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.
About Ericsson’s Managed Services offering
Ericsson has the telecom industry’s most comprehensive managed services offerings, ranging from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer’s network, to hosting service applications and enablers, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand. As the undisputed leader in managed services, Ericsson has officially announced over 60 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002. In all current managed services contracts, excluding hosting, Ericsson is managing networks that together serve 53 million subscribers worldwide.
Napster, the biggest brand in digital music, is a subscription
service that enables fans to freely sample the world’s largest and most diverse online collection of music and move an unlimited amount of songs to compatible portable audio players. Napster (www.napster.com) members have access to Napster’s catalog of over
1.5 million songs from the major labels and hundreds of independents and have more ways to discover, share and acquire new music and old favorites with community features like the ability to email tracks to friends and browse other members’ collections. Napster also offers Napster Light, a “lighter” version of the service for those who just want to purchase songs and albums a la carte. Napster is now available in the United States, Canada, Germany and the U.K. and is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, London, Frankfurt and Tokyo. Read more at: www.napster.com
Safe Harbor Statement
Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release, in particular matters related to Napster’s relationship with Ericsson and the success of the Napster service, contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties such as the new and rapidly changing nature of the mobile and online music industries, dependence on the growth of the Internet, broadband and wireless technologies, failure to maintain strategic relationships, risks associated with governmental regulation and legal uncertainties, reliance on content provided by third parties and failure of the Napster service to interoperate with the hardware of Napster’s customers, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Additional information on these and other factors are contained in Napster’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as filed with the SEC on February 8, 2006, copies of which are available at the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Napster assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this press release.
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