Napster has announced that they will be re-launching in the UK to grab a share of the market that Spotify dominates. Synergy Client Solutions charts the rise and fall of the music sharing company.
Napster, illegal file-sharing giant of the early 2000s, will me making a come-back in the UK in the form of a legal file-sharing site hoping to take on the likes of Spotify. Bristol based Synergy Client Solutions is excited to find out whether Napster can stay on the right side of the law this time round and whether its business model and famous name will be enough to propel it to success.
Towards the end of 2011 Napster was bought by Rhapsody, a subscription music service, in the USA. However after Napster’s long running legal battles it was decided that Rhapsody would cease to trade under the famous name. Synergy Client Solutions is now aware that the UK and German arms of Napster were not bought at that time. Until now. In a turnaround for the books it appears that Napster will be revived in the UK under its original name.
The president of Rhapsody, Jon Irwin, is delighted by the move and said “The acquisition of Napster and its subscriber base in the UK and Germany gives us an ideal entry into the European market.” He went on to say, “Through the benefit of scale, the strength of our editorial programming, and strategic partnerships, we can now bring the Napster service to even more consumers on a variety of platforms.”
Napster’s rise to the top was part of the dotcom boom of the 1990s. In 1999 19 year-old Shawn Fanning designed software that allowed users to share music files over the internet for free. He teamed with Sean Parker, who was also involved in the start-up of Facebook, to make the service. The manager of Synergy Client Solutions notes, “Many people know about the Sean Parker side of the story because of the film The Social Network but many people haven’t heard of Shawn Fanning.”
Musicians and music executives launched a huge legal battle against Napster when they saw their shop sales dive and the company was shut down in 2001. It has tried to go straight once before in 2003 as a legal downloading site but couldn’t compete with the mighty iTunes.
Bristol has a huge music scene and you often hear people talking about Spotify, a digital streaming service which is entirely legal, has gained huge popularity in the last few years. Synergy Client Solutions believes that Napster will be keen to capitalize on that success whilst using a name that everyone knows and recognizes.