Napster 2 was to be the great bugaboo and nemesis of Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS). When Roxio announced its intention to use the Napster brand name to launch a music download service, many hailed the Napster name as potentially being the biggest brand in the music download business. Others, including The Mac Observer, said that if any company could give Apple a run for its money in ease of use, it would be Roxio, and that Napster 2 would likely be a success.
Napster may or may not be as easy to use as the iTMS, but so far, it is likely the #2 download service. While on the surface, being #2 is usually considered a success, we should qualify that #2 ranking as a distant #2, because Apple is beating Napster 2 by about 5:1. Late yesterday, Apple announced that during the first week of Napsteris launch, the iTMS had some 1.5 million downloads. In comparison, Napster had some 300,000 downloads during the same period. Apple issued the corporate press release equivalent of "Nyeener-Nyeener-Nyeener" to celebrate:
Music fans purchased and downloaded 1.5 million songs from Appleis iTunes Music Store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week of operation. More than 17 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the iTunes Music Store had more than 80 percent market share of legally purchased downloads last week.
"During Napsters first week of operation, the iTunes Music Store sold five times as many songs as Napster did1.5 million versus 300,000," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "The unbeatable combination of iPod and iTunes offers music lovers a seamless experience for buying, managing and listening to their digital music collections anywhere."