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The Return of Napster: What This Means For Its Brand and Music

Devoted music lovers got a blast from the past last Friday when Napster seemingly returned from the dead as a streaming music service. It was formerly called Rhapsody when they absorbed Napster after the bankruptcy sale, but then Rhapsody decided to do some restructuring and resurrected the lovable Napster logo from the ashes. Napster is now a streaming music service with almost 30 million songs on demand for $9.99 a month, similar to most of its competitors but offering that classic early 2000's nostalgia for devoted music lovers. If you were probably like me, you probably spent countless hours waiting for that progress bar to fill up with those musical goodies waiting to be burned onto CD's and sharing your music collection with people from all over the world gave birth to musical discovery, as countless artists were discovered through the service. However, artists, record labels, and the RIAA caught on to Napster's scheme and the service was shut down completely in June 2001. They eventually filed for bankruptcy and were acquired by Best Buy and then eventually became absorbed into Rhapsody.

The return of the brand brings back memories both good and bad, and Napster is seen by many as the genesis of piracy and representative of dark times for the music industry that caused endless amounts of heartache and legal fees for those involved. Will Napster's return mean good fortunes for it down the road? That remains to be seen, but a visit from an old friend in the past is a welcome sight for nostalgia driven people like myself who appreciate being rebellious and going against the grain.

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