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XM + Napster Beta Service Ready; Sat Radio Provider Sets Ad Push

XM Satellite Radio reported that its music service with Napster is now available online and has set its promotional plans for the Holiday selling season.

Napster and XM Satellite Radio reported that a beta version of their upcoming XM + Napster music service is now available to XM subscribers online.

The service provides a single interface for downloading music heard on XM and allows users to create playlists from various sources of music including Napster’s catalog. The service is expected to be commercially available in the first quarter along with the first XM/MP3 combination portable headset players.

XM has also launched the company’s largest holiday marketing campaign, which includes TV commercials with Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dogg, Derek Jeter, David Bowie and Martina McBride.

The campaign, called “Listen Large,” is aimed at promoting the wide choice in programming on the company’s 150-plus channels, said XM. One source said XM is spending $25 million on the campaign, confirming a similar report in the Wall Street Journal.

The TV spots will appear beginning today during prime time on network and cable TV. The campaign also includes radio, print, online and outdoor advertising.

Both XM and Sirius are expected to advertise heavily this season as XM attempts to meet its goal of adding over 1 million subscribers and Sirius aims for 825,000. And as the Jan. 1, 2006, date nears for Howard Stern’s migration to Sirius from traditional radio, Sirius is also planning for a groundbreaking campaign.

And XM Canada launched its service that country. More than 4,500 Canadians have preregistered for the service, said XM, which is offering the Delphi RoadyXT to some early subscribers for $79.99, or a 35 percent savings off the unit’s suggested retail price.