Everybody’s favorite internet thing from the 2000’s, Napster is back online today.
The company announced today that it would begin service in Canada as the newest competitor in the music streaming service market. Napster piggybacks off the models of already well-established streaming services such as Spotify and Apple music, with 35 million songs available to premium users. Subscriptions start at $9.99, with a promotion of $1 for the first three months; the same promotion that Spotify held this summer.
Napster’s CFO Ethan Rudin made the announcement this morning: “With a deep catalogue of local artists, hand-curated playlists, and the first music experience for kids, Napster is customized specifically for Canadian music fans. It was important to us that we enter Canada with a personalized music experience that has a complete catalogue of local, national and international artists.”
The once ground-breaking music sharing software was one of the first to provide internet users P2P (peer to peer) sharing starting back in 1999. It’s since had nothing but a rocky ride. After being shut down in 2002 for copyright infringement, the company made a second wave comeback in 2004, launching their paid subscription service. A few years later in 2008 they were purchased by Best Buy, who later merged with Rhapsody in early 2011. That merge saw Napster exit Canada until now.
While on paper it seems like a good deal, Napster’s model hardly deviates from Spotify, TIDAL or Apple Music’s which have already dominated and over-saturated an already crowded industry. As much as the inner child in me would love to see this company succeed, it doesn’t look too promising.