Napster is preparing to relaunch its service in Australia, where it will go head-to-head with Apple’s iTunes service. That’s not particularly interesting but what is interesting is the fact that Napster is set to drop its pricing for a subscription service to between US$5-9.95 per month, in line with Yahoo! Music Unlimited in the US. Could this signal a price shift from the subscription services to fall into line with Yahoo!

When the average music spend (roughly £8 a month in the UK) is half the price point you’re offering for a digital music service, and you’re competing with free as well as selling a new music consumption model to users then it’s certainly time to rework your budgets and give the people a service at a price point that will tempt them into a new method of music consumption. Of course, it then becomes a issue of deep pockets …

Yahoo is set to launch a Music Unlimited service in the UK in January, so the British music market could be set for a major overhaul. The demand is there, as shown by download figures for this year so far, but the subscription digital music services have to refine their model to take their share of that market.

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