Napster Plans Web3-Focused Comeback With NFTs

Napster, Web3, Algorand, blockchain, tokens

Napster, the brand of an early, free music-file sharing service that was born in a university dorm room and helped turn the music industry on its head before being sued out of existence, announced Wednesday (June 29) that it is planning a comeback.

This time around, the company will be built around cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday. Behind the move is Hivemind Capital Partners, a crypto venture set up by former Citigroup executive Matt Zhang.

Napster will use $NAPSTER tokens issued using the Algorand blockchain protocol, which will let artists provide holders with curated music and experiences, according to the report.

The Bloomberg report noted that the new Napster is comparable to a similar resurrection for LimeWire, and it could find itself competing with OpenSea and other companies looking for new digital opportunities.

Napster is also entering a marketplace where Spotify, as of its most-recent public report, had 419 million average monthly users.

See also: Spotify Touts Growth in Users, Subscribers, Podcasts

Speaking about Napster’s early days, Emmy Lovell, Napster’s interim chief executive, told Bloomberg: “Obviously it was completely illegitimate and there was a big backlash. But it does still continue to have the reputation of a disruptor and an industry innovator.”

The report noted that in January, Napster put most of its assets in a new private company valued at $45.6 million. The new Napster platform will operate on a network operated by blockchain company Algorand, which was part of the group that recently bought Napster. A launch date has not been set.

“We’re entering the streaming-plus era of music, which is one of the few scaled business sectors where adoption of blockchain tech actually makes immediate sense for everyone,” Lovell said in a company press release. “People who make music, people who listen to it and those who own its IP all already depend heavily on technology.

“Web3 offers a chance to deepen, extend and improve the music ecosystem.”

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