There was a time when Kazaa was one of the biggest peer-to-peer networks on the planet, a virtual all-you-could-eat buffet where users could download tons of music, movies, TV episodes and even software by way of a desktop client. But like its file-sharing peers, Kazaa went down in flames thanks to copyright infringement lawsuits submitted by the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations. It settled for a huge sum of money ($100 million) and then re-emerged years later as a legal service in July 2009, seemingly trying washing away the sins of the past.
Since its reemergence, Kazaa has offered several legal music service models, the latest of which providing unlimited, on-demand music streaming for $10 per month. And prior to Tuesday, consumers using an iOS device were suggested to use Kazaa's mobile website for access on-the-go. There's speculation that parent company Atrinsic, Inc took the browser route to keep from paying Apple's 30-percent royalty fee on purchases -- can't really blame them for that.
But that has now changed. Tuesday Atrinsic said that a Kazaa streaming music application is now available as a free download through Apple's App Store. Like many other premium music streaming services, a subscription is required for mobile use, and at this time, Kazaa's $10/month all-you-can-eat subscription is the only plan available. Unfortunately, this may hurt Kazaa in the long run given that it doesn't offer any kind of desktop-based free service as does Slacker, MOG, Spotify and others.
"Our goal is to allow our subscribers to access whatever music they want, whenever and wherever they want it in the easiest way possible with the highest quality service," said Stuart Goldfarb, President and CEO of Atrinsic, Inc. "The launch of our app today makes it even simpler for our users with Apple devices to do this. This marks another important step forward in Kazaa's product development."
According to Atrinsic, the iOS app allows subscribers to search and listen on demand, download any song, album or playlist, create, sync and access playlists anywhere, listen to Kazaa Radio, and access higher audio quality options. All subscribers get access to Kazaa's constantly updated catalogue of "millions and millions of songs."
Tuesday Reuters said that Atrinsic shares were up 46-percent at $3.29 on Nasdaq after the company released the Kazaa iOS app -- shares even touched a high of $3.75 earlier in the session. The company acquired Kazaa from Brilliant Digital in October 2010, and currently plans to offer additional Kazaa mobile apps for non-iOS devices in the future.