Napster's 10th Birthday
Ding! Napster is now 10 years old, which means that if you remember using it in its original form then you're officially old. The file-sharing network that began the downfall of major music labels has celebrated with a post on its blog from CEO Chris Gorog:
"Napster was about putting the control into consumers’ hands so they could find virtually any song they could think of and, as importantly, they could easily discover and enjoy new music. It quickly became an ever-expanding, very exciting world of music discovery. And it changed the music industry and entertainment business forever – overnight".
Of course, Napster is no longer online in its illegal incarnation - it was sued into oblivion. It relaunched legally in 2003 but the consumers have always stuck with less-legal alternatives like Kazaa, Audiogalaxy, Soulseek and most recently the Pirate Bay.
Last month Napster started offering an all-you-can-stream plus five download songs for $5 a month, which Gorog believes is as close to the original and popular Napster as he’s going to get legally.
However, new upstart Spotify has been making waves by offering an ad-supported music service. It remains to be seen what impact that will have on the music industry.