Napster is coming back, as Rhapsody rebrands

15 Jun 201623 Shares

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Remember Napster? Well it's coming back as a rebrand by Rhapsody. That should reignite some sentimental coals in millennials' hearts.

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Napster is back! Well, it’s not the original Napster, but the new brand name for Rhapsody, which actually bought Napster in 2011.

Rhapsody, originally known as Listen.com, is the longstanding streaming music player that predates Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and many others.

Rhapsody had already been using the Napster brand in some markets like Canada.

‘No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100pc the music you love. Stay tuned!’
– RHAPSODY

Last year, Rhapsody saw its audience of subscribers jump to 3m, but this is a long way away from Spotify, which has 20m paid subscribers, and Apple Music, which this week revealed it had reached 15m paying subscribers after just one year.

Napster was the original music site for the web and its name is synonymous with a period of illegal, peer-to-peer music file-sharing. It was set up by Shawn Fanning, John Fanning and Sean Parker, who was later involved with Mark Zuckerberg in the early days of Facebook.

Napster went through all kinds of legal hoops and acquisitions until it was finally acquired by Rhapsody in 2011 from Best Buy.

In a brief announcement on the brand change, Rhapsody said: “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100pc the music you love. Stay tuned!”

It could be an inspired move, as the Napster brand is likely to awaken sentimental memories in many of today’s millennials of struggling to find the music they loved over shaky broadband and dial-up connections.

Napster image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com