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Unleash the beast - UK gets very own Napster

One for the summer
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

One for the summer

Napster - the song-swapping site that started the digital-music craze - has announced it will be opening a UK version of its popular download service by summer.

The service, which will be available at napster.co.uk when it launches, will offer UK-specific content, promotions and acts, as well as its half-a-million-strong catalogue of tunes. Its US equivalent - reborn as a legal outfit following lawsuits from disgruntled record execs - hit the five-million-download mark last month.

Napster will be rolling out its European arms on a country-by-country basis, with the UK at the top of the list. Napster CEO Chris Gorog said that London will be the European HQ for the song shop, because it's the largest music market outside the US and Japan. The fact that digital download singles outsold their physical format cousins in the UK also helped, Gorog added.

The other download daddy, Apple's iTunes, is also working on opening a European venture but has yet to announce when it expects to see the service up and running.

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