Napster has launched a new ad-funded download service in the US that allows web listeners to access more than 2 million tracks for free.

Users will be able to listen to the songs they've downloaded up to five times for free before being prompted to pay 99 cents.

The scheme, which has yet to be announced for Napster in the UK will supposedly generate advertising for itself and the record companies involved by displaying adverts. Just as websites charge by the 1000 page impressions Napster will is expected to run a similar system.

Napster is hoping the free service will drive up traffic to the site, which in turn will drive up ad revenues.

The new service will run in addition to the companies current offerings of Napster-To-Go, its unlimited subscription based service that allows user to download unlimited tracks for a set monthly fee.