Napster, Tower Records Launch Japanese Joint Venture

Los Angeles-based Napster and Tower Records, a leading music retailer in Japan, said today that the two companies have created a joint venture to launch Napster Japan. The two companies said that they will launch the Napster service in the area within the next 12 months, operating out of Tower's Tokyo headquarters. Tower Records Japan will contribute $7M in cash and additional funding obligations for a 70% majority equity stake in Napster Japan. Tower Records will provide a majority of the management team and local music content for the new venture. Napster is contributing $3M plus its brand and technology platform. Napster said that by launching the service as a joint venture in Japan, Napster Japan will be carefully tailored to local tastes. The music download service currently is available in the U.S., UK, and Canada and is soon launching in Germany.