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Napster, created in 1999 by a 19-year-old student named Shawn Fanning, allowed users to swap MP3 files with each other across the internet for free. The application was later determined to be unjust and caused the company to be sued by multiple recording industry artists, leading to a huge loss in profits.
Then, in 2011, Rhapsody bought out Napster from Best Buy years after it lost popularity. Since then, Napster turned into a legal streaming service but made sure to keep a low profile. Now, Rhapsody is ready to reintroduce the old Napster brand as their own in hopes to revamp business.
This rebranding comes after years of slow business for Rhapsody in comparison to more popular music streaming apps such as Spotify and Apple Music. It was recently reported by Variety that Rhapsody previously laid off employees and even closed their San Francisco office.
After five years of ownership, Rhapsody has decided to rename itself as Napster and adopt the old cat logo. Interestingly, Rhapsody has been operating under the name Napster overseas, and is actually now just making the change in the U.S.
The change won’t alter anything for existing Rhapsody subscribers as the company plans to keep the same music, service, and pricing as before the announcement.