Napster Boosts Subscribers, Posts Loss

Los Angeles-based digital music download service Napster reported its Q4 results yeterday, saying that it now has 412,000 subscribers to its service. The company lost $24.1M on revenues of $17.4M, as it invested in an aggressive rollout of its services. Napster is now competing against a wide array of competitors, including Apple's iTunes, Yahoo!, RealNetworks, and others looking to garner a large piece of the emerging music download market. The company devoted a large amount of its quarterly results statement indirectly to address Yahoo's new, cut rate music subscription service, saying that it believed that the competing services will be forced to increase their prices because of negative gross margins. Napster's offerings include Napster To Go, a download service for portable music players, and Napstertones, a mobile phone ringtown download service.