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New Napster has a new CEO

By | Published on Tuesday 27 September 2022


Remember Napster? No, not that Napster. Not even that Napster. Although well done for remembering that Napster. But there are no points at all for remembering the original Napster.

Although, I guess, that Napster did collapse more than two decades ago now. So if you’re under the age of 25, maybe you do get points for even being aware of that Napster. But not as many points as you get for remembering the other Napster.

Though, please do note, because this is really important, we’re not here to talk about that Napster or that Napster, the focus here is Napster.

Which Napster? The Web3 funtimes Napster, of course! That’s the Napster you were all meant to remember. Surely you’ve not forgotten the announcement in May that crypto companies Hivemind and Algorand had bought the Napster brand and were now getting ready to deliver some Web3 musical madness with it?

What’s that, you thought LimeWire was the long defunct file-sharing brand that had been weirdly acquired for a new music-based NFTs platform, presumably in the hope that a bunch of 30 year olds could be tricked into buying some non-fungible tokens by appealing to their nostalgia for the P2P hey-day of the mid-2000s? Yeah, well, that may be true.

But how about we trick some 37 year olds into buying some non-fungible tokens by appealing to their nostalgia for the actual P2P hey-day of the late 1990s?

Anyway, all-new Web3 Napster has a new CEO in the form of Jon Vlassopulos, who knows a thing or two about new-fangled digital nonsense from his previous role as Global Head Of Music over there at Roblox.

That appointment and some lovely new investment from a bunch of those investor types will “accelerate Napster’s Web3 initiatives”, which will include buying up a bunch of existing Web3-based music start-ups via a thing called Napster Ventures.

“In our early discussions with Jon, we quickly realised his vision of building a fresh, new and social online music service centred around connecting artists and fans in new ways, and leveraging Web3 technology, aligns perfectly with where we see Napster heading”, says W Sean Ford, CEO of Algorand.

“We believe Napster is the perfect brand and platform to lead the next generation of the music industry that goes beyond streaming or avatar-driven virtual concerts”, he adds. “Jon’s strong connectivity with the music industry and vast experience will give us the necessary leadership to make this a reality”.

Vlassopulos himself declares: “It’s an honour to take on this role and I am THRILLED to lead a company with such a rich history in the music industry. 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”.

“I have spent the last three years working hard to establish new, creative, and commercial opportunities for artists in the metaverse”, he goes on, “and I am looking forward to working alongside the amazing Napster team, our current and future partners, labels, artists, publishers, brands, and start-ups to bring mainstream fans to Web3”.

Lovely stuff. So, everybody, please, please, forget Napster the P2P platform sued into bankruptcy by the major labels. Forget Napster the download store that no one used, that morphed into Napster the streaming service that no one used, and which was then merged with a VR company in a deal no one understood. Those are the olden days. They’re gone. Forget them, forever. After all, now is now. And now is the time of Napster. Honest.