I actually first suggested the concept in a Jupiter report a few years ago but Napster have become the ‘first ever’ to sell digital music pre-paid cards in the UK.
Pre-paid cards have a proven track record for mobile phones and are an ideal way of reaching out to youth audiences. They are also a means of harnessing impulse purchasing in physical world stores. Napster once again shows itself to be ahead of the pack in developing innovative strategies to sell digital music services and to sow the seeds for long term success.
Whilst on the subject, another idea which I suggested to a JupiterResearch client (also back in 2001) was issuing pre-paid artists cards, with variable monetary value. The idea being that kids will play swaps with them in the playground. e.g. a 5 Euro Christina Aguilera card might be swapped for two 3 Euro S Club Juniors Cards….or thirty 1 Euro Cliff Richard cardsðŸ˜‰
Back then it was an idea for tackling a marginal audience. Now the idea has even more resonance as it could be a further valuable tool in trying to make paid music relevant and cool to the disenfranchised digital youth.