For a lot of people, iTunes has become the be-all and end-all of digital music downloads, but there are some other major players out there as well. Best Buy has swooped into the digital download business with the acquisition of Napster, costing the company a total of $121 million.
Napster used to be cool, back when it offered you “free” downloads from “gray” sources. It quickly lost popularity after getting shut down and it didn’t exactly rise back to its former glory when it emerged as a legitimate online music store. With the marketing muscle and financial backing of Best Buy, however, Napster could once again re-emerge as a viable and competitive alternative to iTunes.
The $121 million purchase price breaks down as about $67 million in cash and investments, and then about $54 million in the actual purchase itself. I’m not sure what Best Buy plans on doing, but with that much money on the line, I’m sure it’s got a couple tricks up its sleeve.