Napster's attempt to create a market in US universities with strategic partnerships with colleges may not accomplish much.
New information claims students at the University of Rochester are refusing to buy music through Napster, turning instead to iTunes for their legitimate downloads. This is despite the University and Napster working together to ensure all students there can access Napster's service.
The Register reports: "Not a single University of Rochester student admitted to buying a song via Napster during the Fall 2004 semester. Instead, eight per cent of the students turned to the likes of iTunes and Musicmatch to buy songs they enjoy."
Students turn to music subscriptions
However, Napster's streaming music rental service is popular there. The report explains that 47 per cent of students, "added a song they liked to their streaming playlist", and 39 per cent rented a song.
"This helps explain why students would be reluctant to purchase a song, since they have ready access to the music at no additional charge", The Register said.
Students at the university get free access to Napster (usually $9.95 per month), and report the software to be easy-to-use, but complain of its limited selection, Windows-only digital rights management.
As not all students use the service, but in many colleges all students pay an element towards its adoption, many learners feel they are being forced to pay for a service they don't want.
A full survey detailing Napster use at the university is available for download.