Napster just announced that they are now selling their entire catalog of 6 million songs for $0.99/each, no DRM. And for some reason I’m having trouble getting excited about it (CNET, however, has more than enough excitement for both of us, saying “This is a huge day for digital music.” Whatever.)
The fact is that Napster is still unprofitable and still makes most of its revenue from all-you-can-eat subscription sales. Both AOL and Yahoo bailed out of this business, since consumers don’t seem to like it and the labels take all the revenues. Ian Rogers explained why that business sucks last year, right before he bailed out of Yahoo.
So Napster is making their big push into DRM-free sales, a market dominated by iTunes and increasingly Amazon. And…cough…BitTorrent. The days of paying for recorded music are nearly over. And there’s nothing Napster can do to change that.