Between 1999-2000, Napster revolutionized the way that people were sharing music on the Internet. The service was a big wake-up call for the RIAA and the lawsuits started pouring in against Napster shortly after the service gained in popularity. Since then Napster was acquired by Best Buy and then sold to Rhapsody. Now Rhapsody is going to be merged officially into their on-demand music service, which will be the end of the Napster brand.
Napster originally launched in 1999 as a P2P file sharing service for swapping music files. It survived only about 2 years before being shut down by a court order. But it was too late. Consumer were sick of paying $20 per CD when all they wanted was one or two songs from that album. This paved the way for services like iTunes, Rhapsody, and Spotify.
Ironically enough, Napster co-founder Sean Parker is an investor and board member at Spotify. “Spotify is an attempt to finish what I started at Napster,” said Parker in an interview. Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning recently teamed up again on a new project called Airtime, which is a service that is similar to Chatroulette. It is a service where you can have random and real-time video chats.
Want to see what Napster looked like through the years? Check out the gallery in pages 1-9 of this post.