Online music provider Napster Inc. and XM Satellite Radio announced a deal today that will allow the radio networks' four million subscribers to purchase what they hear on the satellite network from Napster.
The new service, called XM+Napster, will be available by year end, and will allow XM listeners to go online, using an interface similar to Napster's, and immediately purchase XM songs or programs for download, burning and transferring to portable devices.
Users can browse and listen to 30-second clips for free, purchase a subscription allowing unlimited song downloads, or purchase songs individually or in bundles.
"XM has over four million subscribers and growing, so it opens up Napster to all these people who are squarely in our demographic," said Napster spokeswoman Dana Harris. "They've already proven that they're very interested in music and willing to pay for a subscription service."
Neither company released any financial details of the deal but Harris said it would "benefit both companies greatly," and the companies would cross promote it.
The deal is another step in the increasing interconnectivity between satellite technology and online music. It comes just a day after XM announced that two new portable music devices combining MP3 players with satellite radio receivers manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. would hit the market this year.
Separately, Napster announced today the launch of Napster Ringtones, a service where Canadian subscribers of Seattle-based wireless service provider Dwango North America Corp. can download Napster music to their cell phones.
Wall Street responded favorably to the announcement, sending shares of Los Angeles-based Napster up 4.2 percent to $4.93, its highest point since May. Shares of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., parent of the Washington, D.C.-based satellite radio provider, closed up 1.1 percent to $36.85.
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