… Is the equivalent of a fourth quarter Hail Mary from the opposite endzone with one second left on the clock.
Best Buy is set to acquire online music distributor Napster, the one-time illegal P2P site, in an effort to compete keep up with the growing digital music industy.
With subscription sales flat and iTunes as competition, Napster has struggled to gain consumer traction. Sales of physical CD’s have been tumbling at Best Buy, who recently announced it will shrink CD floor space to make room for new music instrument sections. Together they may be able to find on and offline cross-promotions and other synergies that will differentiate them from online only iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody.
So Best Buy is considering cutting back on CD’s in the store and they think replacing something that costs at the max $25 with something that runs close to a grand and up?!? Only with thinking like that can teaming up with Napster, which isn’t even a leader in the field when it comes to getting music online be a viable option (TSS > iTunes > Amazon… you get the idea) make sense. This might seem like a sound idea on paper, but it’s ripe with the smell of desperation for two companies who’ve been lapped despite having a head start.
I can see it now:
Customer: Excuse me, Do you have any more Carter III’s in the back?
Best Buy Employee: Sorry sir we’re all out, but we are having a great sale on our brass instruments this week.
Can’t wait to see this exchange in person.
Sidenote: I wonder how the RIAA feels about this since Napster was their first target in their ongoing crusade to cut out music piracy. It’s gotta burn them up a little that Napster’s gone legit. So maybe there is some consolation to this merger…