Napster Raises Rates, Begrudgingly Throws In DRM-Only Towel, Announces Intention To Sell MP3s

Following an intensive, weeks-long R&D project culminating in the finding that people “appear to have forged some sort of odd, longstanding correlation between the word Napster and MP3s,” Los Angeles’ own Napster, Inc. has announced that it will begin selling MP3s in addition to its rights-managed subscription services this year. Such news falls on the heels of another recent announcement: Napster will raise the rates for the subscriptions to its (limited) rights-managed catalog by a staggering 30% at the end of the month. From an email missive lobbed deep from within the catacombs of the Melrose compound:

For the first time in over four years, we are increasing the Napster monthly subscription fee from $9.95 to $12.95. This change will take place beginning on January 30, 2008. As a valued member, we would like to extend a special offer to keep your existing monthly rate.

If you switch to an annual subscription now, you can lock in your existing rate of $9.95 per month. With this special offer, you will be billed $119.40 – a $36 savings over the new monthly rate – for a full year of Napster.

As helpfully mentioned above, assuming the subscription service is not completely obliterated once and for all during calendar year 2008, existing subscribers stand the chance to save an aggregated total of $36.

Napster to sell music as MP3 files (Yahoo!)