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Napster sings as revs, subs get boost

Earnings Brief

Napster is moving closer to the black as the online music company saw revenue climb 54% in the quarter ended March 31 and cut its net loss 44%.

Net loss was $9.6 million during the quarter on $26.8 million in revenue.

Netco generates 87% of its revenue from subscriptions, and it grew its sub base 16% during the quarter to 547,000, excluding 59,000 subscribers at universities who pay a significantly discounted rate during the school year.

Napster is looking to lower that percentage, however: Two weeks ago it launched an ad-supported music offering on its Web site that allows users the option to listen to some songs for free.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Napster lost $54.9 million on $94.7 million in revenue, up 96% and 103%, respectively, from the previous year.

Company is expecting revenue of $25 million-$28 million the current quarter, essentially flat.

After closing up 7% before earnings were announced at $3.93, Napster shares were down 6% in after-hours trading.

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