The paper “ Napster Should Change Its Marketing Mix Strategy Introducing the Digital Media" is a forceful example of a case study on marketing. The key findings of this report indicate that Napster as an Internet provider of music downloads has considerable strategic plans for service provision and the marketing mix adopted by the company id ideal and applicable for its success. However, it has been analyzed that the company is losing its share market to leading competitors including the iPhone that has had the introduction of new and advanced features for the users.
Napster gains its main revenue from permanent music downloads and online subscriptions which are being outdated by the digital media that other providers are using in the provision of the service. On the same note, Napster's subscription model is under criticism from the users since it is a service where users or the ideal subscribers do not ‘ own’ the music up until they purchase it, and this is usually at an additional cost, for instance burning it to a CD. This serves as a negative attribute and reduces the reputation of the service brand with customers preferring other free services.
The service consumers are only allowed to play the music either on a portable player or on a PC, but for only as long as they remained subscribed to Napster, and this is a challenge in its marketing. To customers, they feel that Napster has a lock-in which is not favorable to many users across the gob. The Report recommends that for Napster to compete effectively with others in the market, it will need to strategize on digital media as a solution to advance its service provision to the users.
The report recommends, therefore, that Napster changes from Dialogue to Trialogue, push to pull, one-to-many and many-to-many communications and strategize advancement from ‘ lean-back’ to ‘ lean forward. ’ These will be distinguished strategies if applied in the marketing mix of Napster and in its survival as a successful service provider of music over the Internet. Napster is a company that was for long in history used as a service for ‘ free’ peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing. However, record companies posed a legal challenge to the company due to lost revenues featured on music sales that eventually forced Napster to close.
However, the company brand was purchased giving it a second incarnation that helps it offer a legal music download service and was able to compete directly with other providers including Apple’ s iTunes. Over time, it developed into holding one of the high-prolific companies providing music download and listening options. The capability to try different tracks proved irresistible with Napster use by interested Internet users peaking and seeing over 26.4 million users across the globe in February 2001 use Napster.
The company got tremendous PR and millions of users started using the service. It drove through to success even with the existing challenges and by 2008 Napster had estimated 830,000 subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada paying up to £ 14.95 each month for them to access about 1.5 million songs. What is even better is that the company also by then started seeking the launching of the service in other countries including Japan through partnerships. The online environment engaging music downloads has changed, and there are many legal music downloading service providers as well as increased adoption of broadband meaning that it is a competitive field.
The success of Apple iTunes with the introduction of its portable music player, the iPod early in the year 2005 had achieved over half a billion sales, and this has been an exciting challenge for Napster making the company realize that it needs to revise its marketing strategy and cope with the competitive environment.