XM, Napster In Strategic Partnership

Los Angeles-based Napster and satellite radio company XM Satellite Radio said this morning that the two companies have entered into a long term strategic partnership. The companies are launching an integrated music service that allows users to access, purchase, and manage music from XM and Napster. The XM + Napster service will provide digital music subscriptions and downloading for all of XM's subscribers, and will launch in the fourth quarter of 2005. The companies also said that the launch will come in conjunction with new XM/MP3 combined players that combine MP3 capability with the ability to listen to XM's satellite music broadcasts. The new services will be based on PC connection to the new XM/MP3 player, and will tie into either Napster's subscription service or available a-la-carte. XM Satellite Radio provides satellite-based music broadcasts via a monthly subscription.