You Read It Here First - Napster Is Coming Back From The Dead
I announced the return of MySpace just last week, and now I find that an even more emblematic service is trying to slip back into the public eye. I’m talking about Napster, one of the most widely-discussed P2P filesharing platforms ever.
“What do you mean ‘slip back into the public eye’? Wasn’t the service dead and gone for good?”, I hear you retort. To which I have to reply, “no, it wasn’t”.
You see, although Napster’s days as a filesharing service were over by July 2001 (when the service was forced to close down after a much-publicized legal dispute with the RIAA), the name “Napster” has changed owners a good couple of times. One of these was Roxio, which relaunched Napster as a 100% legal music service shortly after it was originally closed. It was all to no avail, and most people never noticed. To them, Napster sank from sight when it stopped being a place to get music for free. Period.
But Napster’s latest owners are intent on reclaiming some of the fire the service had on its P2P glory days.
Napster has just been acquired by Rhapsody for an undisclosed sum, and it is to be relaunched as an on-demand service letting users listen to all the music they want in exchange for a monthly subscription. Continue reading
MySpace Will Relaunch Later This Year. Justin Timberlake Is The Creative Director Of The Site Now.
MySpace was one of the hottest assets in the social networking scene until Facebook toppled it in 2008. But even then, MySpace managed to retain a loyal following among musicians that appreciated how easy it was to have their own work hosted online for all to sample. Yet, platforms like Bandcamp and Soundcloud began depriving MySpace of even these. Defeated, MySpace was finally bought by Specific Media in June for a pittance of its former value ($35 million).
And now, after a couple of months of silence Specific Media has announced the relaunch of MySpace. This time around, the focus will be on beating services like Spotify and iTunes. The launch campaign that has been planned will feature a wealth of celebrities and brands acting as promotional partners. Justin Timberlake (who owns a stake in the company) will be the site’s creative director. Timberlake has often expressed his belief that MySpace still has the potential to be the place where “fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.”
When it was at its height, MySpace managed to have 70 million unique visitors each month in the United States alone. Even today it gets about 20 million monthly visitors.
Yet, it remains to be seen what impact can the rebranded MySpace have in a scene dominated by services and apps like Spotify, Bandcamp and Turnatble.fm. Even YouTube is a threat to it nowadays – many people who fled MySpace actually went to the popular video sharing service, and opened up their own channels there.
So, what do you think? Is it possible for MySpace to stand in the limelight back again, or has the service basically had its day? Sound off in the “Comments” below, I’d love to know how you feel, and whether you’re giving the “new” MySpace a look when it finally comes around.