AT&T and Napster have announced an expansion to their existing agreement that enables Napster users to transfer their songs to selected AT&T handsets. Under the new plan, AT&T customers will be able to download songs wirelessly from Napster’s catalog of about 5 million tracks directly to their cell phones. The songs will be priced at $1.99 each, or $7.49 for a bundle of five tunes: users who opt for the Five-Track Pack from their phone will receive their first five songs free.. The service is scheduled to be available in mid-November.
“We are pleased to be partnering with AT&T to provide its more than 63 million wireless customers with the best digital music offering available,” said Napster president Brad Duea, in a statement. “Together, Napster and AT&T will deliver 5 million songs to customers’ handsets, along with the best discovery tools and download capabilities to the palms of customers’ hands.”
AT&T says the agreement says it is the only national service provider to iffer customers the ability to purchase full-track songs over the air from both Napster and eMusic. In addition to the Napster deal, AT&t;T also announced MobiVJ (a new streaming video service for $6.99/month) and VIP Access, a mobile music fan club and “discovery service” that will be available for $2.99/month.
The pricing of AT&T’s over-the-air has raised some eyebrows, since it’s considerably higher than prices for the same tracks via traditional download services. AT&T is obviously betting the spontaneous decision to buy music over-the-air will mitigate its high price point, as users make spur-of-the-moment decisions to purchase music. AT&T says the songs will download to handsets in about a minute.
AT&T has not released a list of handsets that will be compatible with the service…but we can guess one phone that won’t be on the list: the Apple iPhone.
Napster and AT&T previously pacted on mobile music toward the end of 2004, which enabled Napster To Go customers to download an unlimited number of full-length songs wirelessly for about $15/month.
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