Cult digital music brand Napster returns to Europe

4 Jun 2013

Napster, the original peer-to-peer network that signaled a seismic shift in the music industry landscape, has returned to Europe as a legitimate music streaming service in 13 countries.

When Napster exploded onto the scene as a music sharing platform in 1999 led by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker (later of Facebook fame) it led to the destruction of the lucrative and well-ordered world dominated by music labels. Many labels wanted to proceed as if nothing happened but since the arrival of Napster and then other players such as Kazaa, the writing was on the wall.

While the days of peer-to-peer streaming are now a thing of the past for most music lovers, the streaming culture of today now counts Napster in the same league as Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and others.

Napster has returned to Europe today with a catalogue of 20m songs. The service also offers inside tips, live sessions and exclusive artist interviews.

It is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android smartphones and tablets for €9.95 per month for online and offline access.

The service is now available to music fans in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

“Music lovers in Ireland really are in tune with the advances in digital music – in fact in Ireland last year, 40pc of recorded music sales came from digital,” explained Thorsten Schliesche, Napster senior vice president and general manager Europe.

“Launching Napster in Ireland offers real music fans a better way to discover new music.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years