On Monday Napster issued a press release, which got great pick-up, stating that it was gonna try to parlay the scant $97 million it has in the bank, the mirage of increasing traffic and a brand which is still incredibly popular with geriatric investment bankers, into a windfall for senoir management and a modest return for investors. In the press release company CEO, Chris Gorong, who owns about 700k shares of the companies stock, which at todays close ($4.01) is worth about $2.8 million, said that his company intends to “thoughtfully examine potential combinations that may further enhance Napster’s unique strategic and brand position in the center of digital media.” In other words, they’re gonna pretend they’re still relevant, collect as many offers as they can and sell while big media companies are in an acquisitive mood. Dump it fella’s, sell for as much as you can.
It seems that Shawn Fanning was right afterall. This morning the folks at Napster threw in the towel and opened their online music store for free, ad-supported, listening. The service promises simple access to a huge music collection from anywhere (in the US) via a searchable database. Except for the annoying and intrusive web ads and the limited selection (only 2 million tracks), its almost as good as the original Napster. Read the rest of this entry »