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“Twinkies, Trojans and a Napster card, please”

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Napster selling prepaid music download cards in convenience stores and elsewhere:

    Prepaid cards for tunes from the Napster online store soon will be on sale at 14,000 electronics retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores and other outlets around the country, Santa Clara-based Roxio Corp. plans to announce today. The cards are being produced by InComm Inc. of Atlanta, the leading distributor of prepaid cards for wireless phone services and other ventures.

    Other online music services are planning to do the same, hoping to get a taste of the success that the long-distance companies have enjoyed from about $6 billion in annual prepaid-card sales. RealNetworks Inc.’s Rhapsody and FullAudio Inc.’s MusicNow plan to introduce prepaid cards next month, around the same time as Roxio though in fewer outlets.

    ….The prepaid cards should help the services solve one of the biggest problems they face as they try to grow into sustainable businesses. Their standard method of collecting money from customers – by taking credit card numbers online – excludes most teenage customers and scares off many older ones.

    ….The Napster cards are likely to compete for space near the convenience-store cash register with many other small items, but Bebel doesn’t think people will have any problem understanding what they’re for. Judging by the success of prepaid cards generally, “I’d say the average consumer has a pretty good understanding of what these cards are and what they represent,” Bebel said. “They wouldn’t mistake it for an air freshener.” [LA Times]

Good idea, now drastically lower the price.

Please see detailed review of the new Napster here.

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About Eric Olsen