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Napster Mobile to go live next week

The now legal peer to peer file sharing network, Napster, on Thursday announced its first deployment of Napster Mobile.

US regional operator SunCom Wireless, which operates a GSM network in the Southeast US, will offer over the air downloads of music to handsets and PCs from next week.

“Wireless continues to be a very significant priority for Napster as music-enabled cell phones are expected to dwarf the number of MP3 players around the world over the next few years,” said Chris Gorog, Napster’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Gorog also hinted at further deals with “top-tier wireless partners” before the end of the year.

On Wednesday Napster reported a reduction in net loss for the quarter to end June 30, from $19.7m in 2005 to $9.6m this year.

Net revenues for the quarter grew to $28.1m, up 34 per cent year on year.

During the quarter, the company launched an advertising-supported free music service, which delivered a 50 per cent increase in monthly unique visitors, but Garog said Napster’s subscriber base also declined seven per cent due to the shift in strategy.

As of June 30, Napster’s total paid subscriber base was 512,000, including 4,000 university subscribers. Excluding university users, which typically roll off during the summer months, the number of paid subscribers grew 26 per cent year-over-year.

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