Napster is Back in Business
June 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Remember Napster? Well, it’s back, and it’s ready to (legally) play!
Rhapsody, the music streaming company that purchased Napster in 2011, will now call itself Napster, a more controversial yet familiar household name. This may seem crazy to some, as it’s been 15 years since Napster closed up shop–and it’s still synonymous with pirating. On the other hand it’s a clever way for Rhapsody to attract the attention of potential subscribers.
The streaming service is still far behind its major competitors (i.e., Apple Music and Spotify), but it seems to be gaining momentum as more streaming services come into play. Last year the company announced that their number of subscribers grew by 35 percent, boasting 3.5 million users in 34 countries.
If any of these subscribers are worried about this change, they can relax. According to Rhapsody’s news page, there will be no changes made to how users listen to music, how they pay for their music, or how they access their music. All playlists, albums, and featured artists will stay the same.
Napster ceased to exist in 2001 when record companies sued the peer-to-peer file sharing site for pirating music. After being told it could not longer host copyrighted music, Napster filed for bankruptcy and disappeared, even though it had been purchased and revamped as a paid subscription streaming site. After being bought and sold by a number of companies, Napster settled into their current home at Rhapsody in 2011. Now Rhapsody is banking on people flocking to the once infamous product.
The name change is part of Rhapsody’s ongoing restructuring, which CEO Mike Davis said is going to include a lot of downsizing.
“As part of our plan to better position Rhapsody/Napster for long-term profitability and accelerated growth in a competitive global market, we have a new, streamlined structure for the company that unfortunately impacts a number of positions across our global offices,” said Davis. “We will handle the process with the deepest respect and gratitude for all affected individuals.”