O2 and Napster launch iTunes rival

02 is launching an iTunes rival service with music download company Napster in the UK. The service strengthens the operator’s music credentials, which include the annual O2 Wireless Festivals in London and Leeds and priority ticket booking for gigs and events at the 02 Dome (pictured).

02 claims the Napster partnership will be the UK’s largest full-track mobile music download service. It will be available to O2 customers through the operators Active portal. Napster Mobile will offer more than five million songs and dual delivery of tracks to subscribers’ handsets and PCs. Single tracks on the service will be priced at 99p, or five tracks for £4. Tracks on Apple’s iTunes service cost 89p.

More than 30 handsets will be compatible at launch and when a customer buys a track over the phone a copy is automatically sent to a specified email address.

O2 is currently reviewing its music sponsorship account, which is held by Drum PHD (MW March 8). The incumbent will repitch for the business. Head of brand and marketing communications Shadi Halliwell is overseeing the review.

Drum, PHD’s branded content division, has handled the business since O2 was known as BT Cellnet.

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