Thursday, July 06, 2006

Is This the New Napster Effect?

WiredNews reports today AOL Ponders Free Internet Service.

Is this part of a trend I'm calling the New Napster Effect? I'm not talking about the original Napster which enabled and popularized priracy.

I'll argue that the new, corporate Napster changed the game with their free dot com site where you can listen to your choice of two million songs up to five times for free. It's just smart. Now every struggling web 1.0 subscription service will at least have to consider a free, ad-supported version of their service.

Listen to Money Changes Everything on the new Napster.

(UPDATE: This Wall Street Journal Article explains why free may not be good enough, at least for college students:

College students don't turn down much that's free. But when it comes to online music, even free hasn't been enough to persuade many students to use such digital download services as Napster, Rhapsody, Ruckus and Cdigix. As a result, some schools have dropped their services, and others are considering doing so or have switched to other providers.

People just need to face the fact that anything that you can't put on your iPod is just a better version of radio. Programming it that way is the only way to be relevant.)


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