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Napster’s crypto plans for music

by Janine Lindsey

Napster, the once-famous file-sharing platform, is making a comeback with a new CEO and a plan to revolutionize the music industry once again. Jon Vlassopulos, the CEO of Napster, believes that the traditional model of charging for access to a vast catalog of songs is going to shift towards a platform model where fans can buy music, merchandise, and tickets within a virtual environment similar to Roblox.

Vlassopulos, who previously worked at Roblox, thinks that virtual merchandise (verch) will play a significant role in this new model. He also revealed that Napster’s plans include a crypto component, which is not surprising considering the platform’s new owners include Web3 player Algorand.

However, Vlassopulos acknowledged that previous crypto-based attempts to disrupt the music industry, such as the platform Royalty, which used NFTs to give fans part-ownership of artists’ songs, have failed to gain traction. He attributed this to the legal complexities surrounding such initiatives and their misalignment with current consumer behavior.

Napster’s strategy, according to Vlassopulos, will succeed because it taps into the concept of “1000 true fans.” This notion suggests that music enthusiasts would be willing to pay more for increased access and unique experiences. In contrast, Vlassopulos believes that Spotify’s plans to charge more for different types of content access do not align with the direction the industry is heading.

While it remains to be seen if Napster can successfully execute its ambitious plan, the company’s efforts to innovate in an industry constantly disrupted by technology are commendable. However, it may face an uphill battle as the once-famous brand holds little relevance for the current generation of music fans.

In conclusion, Napster’s new CEO hopes to reshape the music industry by blending a platform model with virtual merchandise and incorporating crypto elements. While the success of this venture remains uncertain, it demonstrates the ongoing evolution of the music industry and the continuous efforts to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.

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