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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 16:52 GMT
Napster extends service to Europe
Napster is extending its download service to Europe
Music download website Napster, which recently relaunched as a legal service, is to extend into Europe.

Once the bane of the music industry by allowing music fans to swap songs illegally, it reinvented itself last October as a legitimate pay site.

Yet until now only US residents were able to pay to download songs.

But now Napster, which was relaunched by new owner software firm Roxio, has announced that the service is to be extended across the Atlantic.

Spring start

Leanne Sharman, the former head of sales and marketing at the now closed music download site MP3.com is to head Napster's European operations.

"We're delighted Leanne has joined us at this time, as we look to further developing the business outside the US," said Brad Duea, Napster's worldwide head of business development.

"Her background in European sales and marketing leaves her well placed as our person on the ground in Europe," he added.

Napster has yet to give a date for the launch of its services in Europe, but industry insiders are predicting that they will start in April.

Main players

Computer company Apple is now also expected to extend its own music download service - iTunes from the US to Europe.

At its peak as the almost ubiquitous illegal song-swapping website, Napster had 60 million users around the world.

However, it was eventually bankrupted by the cost of its defence against legal action by the record industry, despite receiving financial assistance from the German media giant Bertelsmann.

Today owned by Roxio, it now sells some 300,000 tracks a week at 99 cents per song.

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