Napster chief hits Apple on music download services

The majority of consumers have not yet accepted the subscription model to rent rather than buy music but this is likely to change over the next year, the head of Napster,  quoted by a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said Napster, once synonymous with piracy in online music, now offers music via a subscription service but it is hindered by the dominance of Apple's iPod which, due to a rights management issue, cannot play Napster music.

Napster CEO Chris Gorog was quoted by the Reuters report as saying that Apple's approach was 'anti-consumer' and had held the subscription model back.

But Gorog expects the picture to change as consumers turn to mobile phones that also operate as MP3 players, the report said.

He believes this access to a wider market will introduce more music fans to the concept of unlimited subscription services, the report said.

Earlier this month, Napster announced that it had signed a deal to become the exclusive online music subscription service to AOL, giving it access to an additional 350,000 subscribers on top of its current 566,000 paid subscribers.

Gorog said he expected the majority of AOL customers to join Napster, making it the number one subscription service worldwide, the Reuters report further said.