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Napster In $30M Marketing Effort

Apple’s iTunes marketing campaign played a key role in last year’s iPod sales explosion, but now they will get some major marketing competition with the launch of a $30 million campaign to support the official launch of the industry’s first portable subscription-music service, dubbed Napster To Go.

The Napster campaign included an ad during the Super Bowl yesterday.

Hardware companies supporting the campaign are Creative Labs, Dell and iRiver, and retailers supporting the launch include Best Buy.

Napster To Go service, launched in preview form late last year, lets consumers download any song from the service’s entire catalog of more than 1 million songs as long as a monthly $14.95 subscription is paid up. The songs can be played from a PC and transferred to compliant portables.

Consumers can listen to downloaded songs stored on their portables without paying up to a buck apiece for them, Napster said. Apple has said it has no plans for such a service.

At least six portables will support Napster To Go at launch: Creative Zen Micro, Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox and iRiver H10, along with Portable Media Centers from Creative, iRiver and Samsung. Two other music portables, the Samsung YH-920 and Dell Pocket DJ, will be compliant with a software download available within a few weeks of yesterday’s launch.