Napster Is Coming Back, and No One Will Get Arrested for Using It This Time
There’s just one catch.
Most music lovers obsessed with downloading every track possible cut their teeth on Napster, even when there was constant fear of the police knocking on their door to haul them in for that copy of the latest Incubus album that didn’t get actually paid for. The file-sharing service was in its prime in 1999, and then met its fate in a series of nasty copyright infringement cases which resulted in the service being shut down in 2001. It attempted a comeback in 2011 as an online music store, but it was just never the same. Part of the problem was the lack of users: It’s hard to make people accustomed to an endless fount of free music want to fork over actual money for the songs they’re looking for. But Napster is trying one more time.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Napster is returning as a subscription-based online music service. For $7.65 a month, users will have access to streaming and offline playback access to nearly 35 million songs. The catch? It’ll only be available in Canada. The service will work on the iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos and Chromecast platforms, and will feature curated playlists and local artists like Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara. The service will be in direct competition with Spotify, Apply Music, and Tidal — but nostalgia is a powerful thing.
Photos by Getty Images/THOMAS LOHNES