If you were to lace up some Nike Mag‘s, hop in your DeLorean and head back to 1999, one of the first things that would be apparent is the shift in how people were consuming music. At the forefront of that shift was file-sharing music service Napster, which let users download virtually any song they desired for free. Naturally, the music industry was pissed. Napster was forced to shut down in 2001 after losing copyright infringement lawsuits spearheaded by bands like Metallica. The music-sharing platform would eventually see a short rebirth in the form of an online music store, but would once again falter after Rhapsody bought out the company from then-owner Best Buy in 2011. Four years later, Napster is giving it another go.
The Napster relaunch gives customers access to online music streaming and offline playback for 35 million songs, with one major catch: the service is exclusive to Canada. Explaining the decision to focus Napster’s relaunch efforts north of the border, CFO Ethan Rudin issued a statement saying, “It was important to us that we enter Canada with a personalized music experience that has a complete catalog of local, national and international artists.”
Napster’s new Canadian music service comes with a monthly subscription fee of CAN$9.99 (US$7.65) and will be available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Chromecast and Sonos platforms. Some of the perks the service offers will include curated playlists with Canadian artists like Alessia Cara and Shawn Mendes. Unfortunately for Napster, that list won’t include one of the country’s biggest stars, who’s already pledged his allegiance to Apple Music.
Check out gb.napster.com for more info on the latest incarnation of Napster.
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