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Napster set to return in Web3 & Metaverse debut

The pioneering free streaming service is set to return and has already picked up an ex-Roblox exec with a background in virtual concerts.

Napster set to return in Web3 & Metaverse debut

Napster, a formerly well-known music streaming service from the early 2000s which was controversial due to offering free file-sharing of then copyrighted songs, looks set to return to the public-eye with a new Web3 strategy. They’ve picked up former Global Head of Music at Roblox, Jon Vallapulos, who presided over their virtual concerts.

Comparable to how other games, such as Fortnite, have incorporated virtual live music events, Roblox has hosted events headlined by acts such as Twenty-One Pilots and Lil Nas X. Although some have pointed out that Roblox is possibly lagging behind platforms such as Fortnite in the virtual event space, with its millions of users there’s a waiting audience to potentially appeal to.

Remember Napster? It’s back, in Web3 form.

After it was closed down due to an overwhelming wave of lawsuits in 2002, Napster was revived as a more ‘official’ streaming service over the years. Having consistently been in the background and passing between hands, it was most recently handed over from virtual concert providers MelodyVR to Hivemind Capital Partners and Algorand, both companies being enthusiasts of Web3 and metaverse technologies.

So what could be next? Well, unlike with Roblox and Fortnite, Vallapulos may be in a tricky position. Napster does not have an online game with millions of users, nor does it have the recognition these games built up over the years. CEO of Algorand W. Sean Ford has stated, “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.”

That quote may indicate an approach entirely different to what has been done before. However, whether any of that is feasible or achievable entirely depends on what this reported marrying of Web2 and Web3 technologies will look like, information on that being relatively unknown at this juncture.

Like it or not, the metaverse doesn’t seem to be a concept that is going to lessen its growth anytime soon. Especially with money changing hands in amounts as high as $5000 in Roblox for a Carolina Herrera ‘virtual gown’. If Napster has had these plans in place for a while, it stands to reason there may be something surprising in the works, but until more information emerges we’ll have to wait and see.


Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who only occasionally refers to himself in the third person.