Napster taps Rogers & Cowan as download-service battle heats up

LOS ANGELES: Napster has chosen Rogers & Cowan as its AOR while it continues to defend its spot as America's number two music download service.

LOS ANGELES: Napster has chosen Rogers & Cowan as its AOR while it continues to defend its spot as America's number two music download service.

The once-felonious trading site, which relaunched as a legal pay service in late 2003, recently debuted Napster To Go, the first monthly subscription fee service for music downloads, which lets users fill and refill their MP3 players for a flat monthly rate.

Soon after, Yahoo launched a similar service at a much lower price. In addition, Napster is still battling its main competitor and market leader, Apple iTunes, which has a 70% market share.

"Our biggest [PR] challenge is usually competition," noted Dana Harris, Napster director of corporate communications. "Everyone and their mother is coming into this space."

Harris added that although iTunes works on a different business model, charging users for individual songs, Napster would continue to challenge it with messages that the service only works with iPods and might not be as good of a value.

"Trying to illustrate the difference and value proposition is difficult," she said. "We found the best way to communicate was to compare [our service] with the experience most people know, the iTunes experience."

Harris added that future PR messages also would focus on Napster's large content amount.

"We think that's a really big differentiator for us," she said.

Harris approached R&C with the work, and no formal search was held. She chose the company based on the relevant experience of Nancy Sullivan, account lead and SVP of music and digital entertainment.

"They had a unique knowledge of our space," she said.

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