O2 customers are to get access to the UK’s largest full-track mobile music download service.
The deal between the mobile phone operator and Napster will offer subscribers 5 million tracks for download to phone and PC.
Single tracks will be 99p and bundles of five will be £4.
Once a song is bought on a mobile phone, a copy will be sent automatically to the customer’s email address.
Digital downloads to phones and PCs rose by 50% last year and are worth £250 million in the UK.
The partnership with Napster will give O2 customers access to a music library five times larger than its nearest mobile competitor.
Matt Ward, O2’s head of music, said: ‘There is a paradigm shift from bricks and mortar to the digital world and O2 is essentially offering a retail space with 18.5 million customers.’
Future possibilities include direct marketing of exclusive live tracks or merchandising available for download through the phone immediately after a concert.
Which? Technology Editor Matthew Bath said: ‘Napster’s deal with O2 is a smart move for UK consumers, especially as it not only allows consumers to download songs to their mobile phone, but also get the song emailed to their PC so they can play it at home.
‘O2 says that when a customer leaves the mobile phone company, the songs will continue to work, meaning that consumers won’t lose their music collection when they switch mobile provider.’