Napster announced the launch of it’s mobile music service on KDDI so Au brand customers can access Napster library through the EZ web network. Programming features, include personalized recommendations, featured artists and new releases, exclusive music and chart information. Napster Mobile made its Japanese debut this past November when it launched on DoCoMo’s i-mode platform.
Napster Mobile subscribers in Japan pay a monthly access fee of approximately $3 per month, and can acquire individual songs and ringtones for mobile delivery and download using a “credit-based” system. Subscribers receive 300 credits per month to procure individual songs and ringtones, and they can purchase additional credits at any time.
The companies press release was a bit light on numbers related to the operators data subscriber base in Japan. Stating; KDDI with over 20 million.. and DoCoMo with over 40 million.. therefore ..over 60 million mobile subscribers in Japan. Meanwhile the actual numbers reported – and available to the public – as of 31 December 2006 are 47 million for i-mode and 22 million for EZ-Web, for a combined total of 69 million. This oversight is at least somewhat ironic – perhaps rude would be more accurate if not less polite – since Napster carefully quotes their own subscriber base to the closest thousand.