Napster, Circuit City Team on Music Service

Electronics retailer Circuit City has announced plans to launch a new digital music service powered by Napster, offering customers access to millions of downloadable songs plus exclusive content and new releases added every week.

Dubbed Circuit City + Napster, the new service is set to launch April 29 and will carry a $14.95 per month subscription price, with the first month and five song downloads available free of charge. The service will offer the same feature set as Napster’s music subscription service—access to a library of millions of tracks with a current subscription and the ability to purchase individual tracks at $0.99 each. The service will also feature Napster’s music discovery and recommendation services, access to community features and message boards, the ability to browse other members’ music collections, and share both music and playlists.

“Our goal with music and movies is to excite and inspire our customers to fully enjoy their portable and in-home electronics, and we’re thrilled to enter this strategic relationship with Napster,” said Irynne V. MacKay, Circuit City’s senior VP and general merchandise manager for entertainment, in a release. “Circuit City + Napster will offer our customers a new avenue to find, share and delight in music. Increasingly, consumers are turning to the digital environment for entertainment and this new service will give our customers easy access to the content they want, when and how they choose to enjoy it.”

Circuit City customers will be able to find Circuit City + Napster introductory offers in Circuit City stores and on the company’s Web site; the retailer will also offer pre-paid download cards good for 15, 25, or 60 tracks.

The new service isn’t the first time an electronics retailer has forged a partnership to compete with Apple’s iTunes/iPod juggernaut; last October, Best Buy teamed with SanDisk and Real Networks to launch a new music service based on Real’s Rhapsody service and SanDisk’s Sansa e200 music players.

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