Napster, an online music sharing industry, was created by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker in
June 1999 as a peer-to-peer file sharing service. They created a new way of people getting
music and movies. However in 2001, Napster was shut down due to a court order for copyright
violations. Napster was sued by various recording artist such as Madonna, Metallica, and Dr.
Dre, amongst of many record companies. After the close of Napster, the logo and brand
were purchased and once again Napster was re-born by Roxio in 2002. A few years later, the
company was then purchased by Best Buy in 2008 . The negative press Napster received
increased brand awareness to consumers allowing Napster to become a well sort after
commodity of downloadable music. In traditional retail a store can only hold about 100,000 cds
but online over 1 million cds can be housed. There’s are great advantage with online versus
Today, Napster continues to re-invent itself as it promotes its core product - downloadable
music. It has also extended its product line in order to keep up with its main competition
(Apple’s iTunes). This case study will demonstrate how Napster has varied each element of
the marketing mix: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence to
compete with traditional and online music retailers.
The Core Products
Napsters’ core products are downloadable and streaming music over the internet; choice of
selections in music, value for money, friendly-user application, ability to listen anywhere and to
listen on anything from computers to mobile devices.
Napster offers digital products which can be considered a core product because it add value,
convenience, and placement (easily accessible). By providing options for varying the core
product, Napster is staying competitive and in some cases have exceeded the competition.
The Varied Marketing Mix