Even though its Super Bowl ads were among the more forgettable pitches Sunday night, a new and not-so-naughty Napster
Granted, the profit was strictly due to the one-time gain the company recorded after it sold off its Roxio computer software business to Sonic Solutions
You may be ready to shake your head at the company's decision to blow through about a month and change of its revenue to run a pair of ads during the big football game. But before you do, let's give the company and its reinvention process some credit. It closed out December with 270,000 subscribers, and its portable "Napster To Go" service that launched earlier this month is bound to draw fans of the digital-music buffet who like to take their streams with them. RealNetworks'
The company is aiming at all of the right targets. Its ambitious college program has helped sign up 44,000 students. It has also teamed up with Blockbuster
Since Apple Computer
While Napster's service is compatible with many of the other portable MP3 players, such as those from Dell Computer
Napster is looking to produce revenue of $14 million this quarter. That will be another big step forward for the company, though it will still lag behind in a race that Apple is winning by a mile. In Napster's defense, it has built up quite the war chest. It now has $4.39 a share in cash and investments, including its stake in Sonic Solutions. Then again, that also pales when compared with Apple's cash-rich coffers.
So Napster won't have an easy fight, but the brand that earned notoriety playing it naughty with illegal file swapping deserves a chance to see what it can do when it plays nice.
For related musical Foolishness:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz likes the idea of the digital music buffet -- only he never quite knows when he's full. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.