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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Japan boost after Napster losses
'XM + Napster' is seen as a new revenue driver
Online music service Napster has seen heavy first-quarter losses, but is confident of an improving 2005.

The firm posted a net loss of $19.9m (11.2m) compared to $2.6m in 2004, but revenues grew 167% to $21m.

On Wednesday Napster also announced a joint venture with Tower Records Japan to launch its service in Japan.

Looking ahead, Napster said it expected revenues of around $22m in the second quarter, and strong growth in the last half of the year.

'Digital global'

That will be partly driven by another joint venture recently announced with XM Satellite Radio Holdings, it said.

"We look forward to announcing a number of new strategic initiatives later this calendar year designed to create new revenue streams, improve margins and accelerate our path to profitability," said Chris Gorog, Napster's chairman and CEO.

For the three-month period ending on 30 June the number of Napster paid subscribers, excluding university subscribers on summer break, grew by 13% quarter-on-quarter.

And looking to the Japanese deal, Mr Gorog said: "Our partnership with Tower Records Japan represents a significant development in the globalization of the digital music industry and one which will take Napster to a new level."

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