What the papers say: Mixed reaction to Napster relaunch

Coverage of Napster’s UK relaunch showed signs of a rush job. The surprise element ensured high-profile coverage.

‘First blood to Napster in the battle for online music sales’ was typical coverage in The Daily Telegraph (21 May), while The Times said Napster had ‘a crucial headstart in the £1bn British music market’ (21 May).

But commentators noted that UK users would pay ‘considerably more than their American counterparts’ (The Independent, 21 May).

The gloss from Napster’s launch was fully removed on the internet and in the music press, which gave a high profile to Peter Gabriel’s rival OD2’s spoiler price promotion and Napster’s ‘high’ price model, while condemning the ‘fickle fandom of the national press’ (e-consultancy.com, 21 May).

Eyebrows were also raised over the Napster brand. ‘Napster has a strong brand but a dodgy history. The question is: will Napster’s early, illegal UK users despise [it] for going legit?’ asked Webuser (20 May).

Napster’s PROs might conclude that more haste, less speed would have been more appropriate.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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