Roxio has announced a potentially powerful multi-year partnership with European high street electrical retailer, the Dixons Group.
The partnership may give Napster an edge in the UK market – Dixons was the company behind the phenomenal launch of Internet service Freeserve.
Under terms of the deal, Dixons will promote the soon-to-launch music service and stock Napster's music software and branded products across its chain of 1,100 Dixons, PC World, The Link and Currys stores in the UK.
Napster proclaims the deal as: "The first agreement of its kind between a British consumer electronics retailer and an online music provider". The service launches in the UK "before the end of summer".
Dixons will also preload Napster 2.0 software on all its own-brand PCs, alongside a "unique offer" for its Premium service subscription. The service will be promoted throughout Dixons stores.
Such promotion will include visibility in the portable audio sections, own-branded CDRs, CD wallets and CD labelling kits, and also across Dixons online properties.
Npaster president Brad Duea said: "This represents a significant development in the UK market."
"The market for online music in the UK has huge potential and we will drive this new development by demystifying the subscription options for consumers," said John Clare, Dixons CEO.
"The combination of Napster's services and communities and Dixons Group's retailing skills will create an unrivalled digital music experience for our customers."
In related news, Napster parent company Roxio yesterday reported fourth-quarter revenues of $33.6 million for a net loss of $6.6 million. The company recorded a net loss for its financial year of $44.4 million.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2005, Roxio expects total revenues of approximately $28 million, with roughly $21 million from the software division and $7 million from Napster. Net loss per share for the quarter is expected to be approximately $0.26.