Napster today (March 3) unveiled plans to enter the U.K. market, the digital-music provider's first official entry point outside North America.

Napster today (March 3) unveiled plans to enter the U.K. market, the digital-music provider's first official entry point outside North America.

A new localized version of Napster 2.0 is set to launch in the United Kingdom before the end of the summer, offering U.K.-specific genres, promotions and domestic content.

The day-to-day Napster U.K. operations will be managed by Leanne Sharman, VP of business development, who takes additional stripes as GM of the London affiliate. Sharman continues to report to Napster president Brad Duea in Los Angeles.

"We're very excited about bringing the biggest brand in online music to the U.K. and making London our European headquarters," says Napster chairman/CEO Chris Gorog in a statement.

Only a matter of weeks ago, Gorog was unable to offer delegates at the Midem confab in Cannes any clue as to when or where the service would next roll out. Billboard.biz understands that the arrival of Napster 2.0 across Europe is likely to happen on a "country-by-country" basis.

Gorog is due to offer insight into Napster's return to Europe as a legitimate enterprise within the Roxio fold when he speaks today at the Financial Times' New Media and Broadcasting conference in London.