Business News Deals Digital

Napster acquires music NFT marketplace Mint Songs

By | Published on Thursday 16 February 2023


The all-new Napster with Web3 ambitions has bought itself a Web3 start-up to help achieve its Web3 dreams with some Web3 fun times.

The start-up is music NFT marketplace Mint Songs, which actually wound down its operations last September, but can still seemingly provide Napster with some useful tools and insights to help push forward what it is calling Napster 3.0.

Napster – the music streaming service that evolved out of the download service that was launched using the brand of the P2P file-sharing network that everyone still thinks of when you say ‘Napster’ – announced plans to reinvent itself as a music-centric Web3 service when it was acquired by new owners last May.

It then announced the appointment of Jon Vlassopulos as its CEO in September, he having previously been Global Head Of Music at Roblox.

He said on getting that job: “With the advent of Web3 technology, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to connect artists and fans in new, innovative ways while also making the fan experience more fun and social and creating new revenue streams for artists”.

On the Mint Songs purchase, Vlassopulos now says: “We are in an unprecedented era of innovation in the digital music space and it feels like there have been more music start-ups formed in the last two to three years than in the previous 20”.

“It’s inspiring to see so many talented teams pushing to create a music ecosystem that is better for artists and fans, and we are delighted to welcome one of the most impressive Web3 music start-ups, Mint Songs, as the newest member of the Napster family”.

The co-founder and CTO of Mint Songs, Garrett Hughes, will now advise Napster on the development of its Web3 experiences, while the start-up’s Head Of Product Nate Pham will play a hands-on role in Napster’s Web3 adventure.

Vlassopulos goes on: “Garrett and team have done groundbreaking work helping thousands of artists get their start in Web3, reach their fans in new creative ways through collectibles, and unlock significant new revenue streams”.

Hughes himself says: “As we looked for a partner that could take what we’ve built over the last two years and give artists a true marketplace for their assets where millions of fans are already active, it became abundantly clear that Jon and Napster have the vision to finally take Web3 music to the mainstream”.

“Our goal all along has been to create deep, engaging and innovative ways for artists to connect with fans that also offer them an opportunity to monetise that fandom”, he adds. “Conversely, we see a demand from fans for a music service to offer more than just on-demand music and podcasts, which makes Napster’s ambitious goals all the more attractive”.

Given that when everyone was talking about VR a few years ago, Napster merged with a VR company, and then last year – when everyone was talking about Web3 and NFTs – Napster announced it was now a Web3 company, I was kind of expecting the latest announcement to be unveiling Napster the music AI company.

Kind of impressed they’re sticking with the Web3 thing. For now at least.