Napster chooses Super Bowl to start $30m iTunes fight

NEW YORK - Napster is to planning a $30m (£16m) advertising push in the US over the next six months to fight the dominance of Apple's iPod, kicking off with a spot during the Super Bowl this weekend.

Napster chooses Super Bowl to start $30m iTunes fight

The new ad backs the Napster To Go service launching today, which lets people transfer up to 1m songs to a portable music player for $15 a month.

The spot uses the strapline "do the math", comparing the fee for downloading 10,000 songs a month from Napster, which would cost $15, to that for iTunes, which would cost $10,000. The ad is set to run in the third quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl game.

However, Brits wanting to use the service may be interested in doing a bit of "math" themselves. If they do, they will discover that Napster is charging them almost 100% more than their US counterparts, with a Napster To Go subscription costing £14.95 ($28.12) in the UK.

Chris Gorog, Napster chairman and CEO, said: "Our dream has been to offer music fans the key to the world's music library for a low monthly cost, and by extending online access to those on the move we have put in place the final piece of the jigsaw in delivering the most innovative, versatile and best value music service on the planet."

Apple is also using the event to push its iTunes service, in a bottle-top promotion with Pepsi to give away free songs and 1,700 mini iPod players.

Separately, Ford has pulled an ad it was planning to run during the Super Bowl that showed a clergyman being tempted by a Lincoln truck. According to reports, people who had been sexually abused by the clergy objected to the spot because it featured a little girl, and a joke at the end where the priest was set to give a sermon on the topic of lust.

There is super sensitivity regarding every second of Sunday's broadcast, after last year's debacle when Janet Jackson exposed her breast, leading to some parents claiming that their children were damaged by the site of her heaving bosom.

This year Sir Paul McCartney is back performing at the Super Bowl. No wardrobe malfunctions are expected from the former Beatle.

Other advertisers who are stumping up the estimated $80,000-a-second fee to appear during Super Bowl are Volvo and Cialis, along with regular advertisers Monster.com and Budweiser, which has balked at running an ad that sends up Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction".

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