RetailVision Fall 2005 -- SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC), a designer, manufacturer and marketer of custom and open-standard memory and storage solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Napster(r) (Nasdaq:NAPS), the biggest brand in digital music, to introduce Napster-branded Flash memory and hard disk drive storage products. The licensed products include external storage, USB Flash drives, and Flash cards, among others and provide vital storage expansion, back-up and portability for valuable music files. SimpleTech will demonstrate its complete portfolio of storage products at RetailVision Fall 2005, held September 6 - 9 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ.
According to Forrester Research, online music sales in the United States are projected to reach $4.5 billion by 2008. The growth of this market is indicative of a trend that is transforming the music industry and driving a dramatic increase in the need for optimized storage solutions for these precious media archives.
"The combination of the iconic Napster brand with memory and storage technologies from SimpleTech results in a family of relevant products that will appeal to consumers in the digital music market," said Brad Duea, president of Napster. "These products have been specifically designed to meet the needs of fans looking for high-quality storage for all the digital music they love and to provide the innovation and quality assurance Napster symbolizes."
"To fully enjoy the digital media experience, consumers need the right hardware solutions. Among the biggest challenges music downloaders face are storage and portability issues, such as lack of hard drive space, mobility and back up," said Patrick Wilkison, vice president of marketing and business development at SimpleTech. "SimpleTech provides a complete line of portable and desktop storage devices ranging from Flash drives to hard drive-based storage products that will now be Napster-branded. These products complement the Napster experience by offering consumers easy-to-use, and in some cases, highly-portable music storage devices."
Initially, Napster-branded SimpleTech products include SimpleDrive External Hard Drives, Bonzai Xpress USB 2.0 Flash Drives, Bonzai USB 2.0 Upgradeable Flash Drives, CompactFlash Cards, Secure Digital Cards, Multi Media Cards (MMC), reduced size MMC cards as well as miniSD Cards. For a preliminary period each of these products will include free song downloads and an extended trial offer for Napster's award-winning digital music subscription service. Napster offers one of the largest digital music catalogs, with more than 1.5 million songs spanning all genres from Eminem to Miles Davis.
Pricing and Availability
The Napster-branded storage products are expected to be available during the third quarter of 2005 in retail locations nationwide, through SimpleTechDirect.com and via Napster's online service. Sample manufacturer's suggested retail prices are as follows: 160GB MusicVault(tm) -- $159, 128MB USB Flash drives -- $18.00, 128MB USB Upgradeable Flash drive -- $26.60, 512MB Secure Digital card --$51.90, 128MB CompactFlash card -- $20.60.
Napster, the biggest brand in digital music, is a subscription service that enables fans to freely sample the world's largest and most diverse online collection of music and move an unlimited amount of songs to compatible MP3 players. Napster (www.napster.com) members have access to songs from all major labels and hundreds of independents and have more ways to discover, share and acquire new music and old favorites with community features like the ability to email tracks to friends and browse other members' collections. Napster also offers Napster Light, a "lighter" version of the service for those who just want to purchase songs and albums a la carte. Napster is currently available in the United States, Canada and the U.K. and is headquartered in Los Angeles with sales offices in New York, London and Frankfurt.
SimpleTech, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets custom and open-standard memory and storage solutions based on Flash memory, Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), and hard disk drive (HDD) technologies. SimpleTech offers a comprehensive line of more than 2,500 products and specializes in developing high-density memory modules, memory cards and storage solutions. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.simpletech.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, statements concerning the growth of online music sales. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are detailed under "Risk Factors" in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made from time to time by SimpleTech, Inc., and Napster, LLC, including their Annual Report on Form 10-K, their quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and their current reports on Form 8-K.
Other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include the following risks: Storage products may not perform in the manner anticipated, customer demand for such storage products and for online music may not grow as projected and new technological advancements in the field might produce more competitive products. SimpleTech, Inc. and Napster, LLC undertake no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
(C) Copyright 2005 Napster, LLC and SimpleTech, Inc. All rights reserved. Napster and Napster Light are trademarks or registered trademarks of Napster, LLC in the US and other jurisdictions. SimpleTech, and Bonzai, are trademarks or registered trademarks of SimpleTech, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.
Elaine Marshall, Director of Public Relations
Mitch Gellman, Director of Investor Relations
Rogers & Cowan
Nancy Sullivan, John Conroy
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