When Napster came out in the late 1990’s it was a really revolutionary company. Peer-to-peer file-sharing networks allow users to easily download free music, but this soon leads to a bitter battle with the music industry that attracts even stars like Metallica.
Napster’s first incarnation may not be permanent, but it did disrupt the music industry. At the same time, it paved the way for the arrival of the original iPod in 2001, giving music listeners the habit of listening to music in a non-physical way.
The original Napster was founded in 1999 and went bankrupt by 2002. It was acquired by Roxio and later Best Buy, which merged it with another 1990s music application, Rhapsody. In 2020, it was sold again, this time to the virtual reality firm MelodivR. Now, Napster has been sold again, this time to a pair of companies called Hivemind and Algorand. Verge describes Highmind as “a crypto-centric investment company dedicated to blockchain technology, crypto companies and digital asset ecosystems.”
Matt Zhang, the founder of Hivemind, announced the purchase on his LinkedIn page. “Dear friends, we’re excited to share that we’ve privatized the Napster Group, and brought the iconic music brand to Web3,” the post said. “Unstable markets and uncertain times often bring exciting opportunities. At Highmind, we believe in developing thesis and creating lasting values. Music x Web3 is one of the most exciting places we’ve got, and we’re thrilled to be working with Amy Lovell and a lot of talent to unlock the value of the entire ecosystem and revolutionize how artists and fans enjoy music. “
Napster Group’s own page on LinkedIn states that ATC Management, BH Digital, and G20 Ventures are among the investors, while Lovele, who joined the company as chief strategy officer last year, will now be its CEO. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The site suggested that it could allow artists to publish music as NFT, as some other companies have done.
Limeware, another former giant of music piracy, has been revived as an NFT-related platform. “While web3 advocates claim that tools like blockchain and NFTs are a way to add value to younger players, these technologies have really come into their own as financial instruments for gaining nostalgia,” The Verge says of the end trend. However, this is going against the headwind of the recent crypto crash.
Stephen Silver, technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic who has worked for Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage Magazine, and Broadcast. Review and splice today. Stephen, co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. তাকে Follow him on Twitter at Stephensilver.