The music streaming market continues to grow.
In yet another sign that music streaming is the new frontier of the entertainment business, a partnership has been freshly minted between Napster and – wait for it – Aldi.
The budget supermarket chain has launched its own music streaming service, Aldi LIfe Musik. It will use the catalogue of online music store Napster but will not offer free music – beyond a 30 day free trial.
The new service boasts a catalogue of 34 million songs (more than Tidal, the same as Spotify but less than Apple Music and Deezer) and 10,000 audiobooks. The service is so far only available in Germany and Aldi Australia confirmed to Fairfax: “At this stage, we have no plans to launch a music streaming service”.
Aldi is an unlikely new player in the music streaming market.
There are more than 30 music streaming services now vying for consumers’ attention globally and the key question is how long free services can last with sustained anger over the low royalties paid to musicians.
Napster infamously operated as an illegal peer-to-peer service from 1999 to 2002 when it was shut down after successful legal action by the Recording Industry Association of America and sold off in a bankruptcy auction. Napster was bought by Roxio in 2002, then Best Buy which merged Napster with its service, Rhapsody.
But Napster remains a powerful music industry brand; its initial popularity paved the way for the global music streaming business by showing consumers were hungry for for a purely digital music service. At its peak Napster had an estimated 80 million users.
At present Aldi Life Musik costs €7.99 (A$12.88).