Best Buy Scoops Up Napster

September 15th, 2008 at 12:00 am

best buy hearts napster

In an unexpected twist of events this weekend, the notorious-turned-innocent music download service Napster got itself acquired by Best Buy for $121 million.

Napster was notorious for being the most famous (if not the first) music sharing service online where people could conveniently exchange and replicate mp3 files.  Naturally the service clicked and in no time Napster became one of the stars of Web1.0.  The people liked it, who wouldn’t, free music, what else could you ask for?  Anyway, Napster gained too much popularity that the music industry was getting hit real hard.  So hard that music labels had to push charges on them for illegally distributing copyrighted music.

The music labels won and Napster was forced to change its service to survive.  The original peer to  peer music sharing network became a paid subscription to avoid jail.  Consequently, Napster faded from the front page and settled on the sidelines as iTunes took over the world.

Fast forward to Web 2.0, Napster was set to run out of money by next year according to calculations and information on their funding.  However, like I said, Best Buy came in for the rescue.

The acquisition of Napster by Best Buy will increase Napster’s distribution and keep Napster a living entity.  Moreover, with Best Buy’s influence and control, Napster will have access to their products and probably also sell them online since Napster has also now become a shopping platform.

Best Buy says “We can foresee Napster acting as a platform for accelerating our growth in the emerging industry of digital entertainment, beyond music subscriptions. We’re very excited to add these capabilities to leverage our existing relationships with the labels, the studios, and the hardware providers. We believe Napster will be an outstanding addition to our already robust portfolio of partners and offerings in the digital music space.”

On the other end, Napster CEO Chris Gorog says, “We believe Best Buy will be an ideal partner for Napster and are very excited by the benefits that this transaction delivers to our shareholders, partners and employees. Best Buy is uniquely positioned to benefit from Napster’s digital entertainment distribution platform. We are looking forward to combining our digital media capabilities with Best Buy’s resources and global network to extend our digital content platforms.”