Napster Is Back… Well, Sort Of

Years after it pulled the first block out of the music industry’s Jenga tower, Napster is coming back. But if you think this means we’re all going to be downloading mislabeled reggae songs (these can’t all be Bob Marley, they just can’t be) at blistering 56K speeds, think again. The Napster mantle has merely been snapped up by the somehow still-operational streaming service Rhapsody.

The OG streaming platform announced the name change, which comes with Napster’s iconic creepy cat logo, in a blog post on their website.

“No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price,” they wrote. “100% the music you love. Stay tuned!”

To most people, the move is a bit like VHS rebranding as BetaMax — or more accurately, Walkman rebranding as a boombox used to rip songs off the radio — but they forget that Napster did attempt to go legit once before. The notorious piracy platform morphed into an online music store in the mid-’00s and was the iTunes to Samsung’s line of mp3 players for quite a while.

Rhapsody purchased the platform all the way back in 2011 and hopes that the rebrand will lead to better name recognition worldwide. Surprisingly, the service still has 3.5 million subscribers and actually grew its subscriber base by 35 percent last year.

(Via The Verge)

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