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Napster eyes ring tone market

The music company ties up with Dwango Wireless to test the emerging ring tone market.

Digital music provider Napster on Thursday teamed up with Dwango Wireless, hoping to corner a slice of the booming ring tone market.

Dwango, a Seattle firm that specializes in entertainment content for the wireless industry, will help Napster develop and market its new service, Napster Mobile, for North American carriers. Financial details of the deal were not released.

"Napster Mobile is a natural extension for the biggest brand in digital music and will enhance our development of wireless delivery," Napster CEO Chris Gorog said in a statement.

The service will be available in the United States and Canada starting in 2005, Napster said. Users will be able to download ring tones from Napster's song catalog using their PC. The downloads will also earn users credits for Napster's PC service.

While sales of ring tones have brought in big money for carriers overseas, the market has yet to take off in the United States.