Looking to expand its over-the-air download offerings beyond the independent music it offers through eMusic.com, AT&T has announced that their wireless customers will soon be able to download music from Napster Mobile's catalog of over five million songs directly to their cell phones.
The service will further AT&T’s entry into the music downloads business and will also allow the company to compete with offerings from rivals Verizon and Sprint. The price for a single song is a whopping $1.99. In addition, customers will be able to download a measly five tracks per month with the five-track pack option for “a discounted price” of $1.50 per song – that’s about a 50% markup over what it would cost to buy songs via iTunes, including those without DRM. Subscribers who download songs to their cell phones will receive an email message that allows them to put a second copy on their computers free of charge.
Although at those prices the new service will have hard time competing with iTunes, which users can use with non-iPhone devices by downloading the songs on their computers and transferring them to their phones, the deal is good news for the struggling Napster, who will gain exposure to AT&T’s large user base.