Napster Explores Music Distribution Through NFTs

Credit: Daily Dot

Napster, a company best known for sharing pirated music in the 2000’s, is continuing its comeback in Web3.

Today, February 15th, Napster announced it acquired the NFT music marketplace Mint Songs — a platform that helps musicians establish their presence in Web3 through NFTs and digital collectibles.

The acquisition will merge the best of a company focused on creating digital collectibles and opening new revenue streams for musicians via blockchain technology with the once massively popular peer-to-peer sharing service that’s remaking itself in Web3.

CEO of Napster, Jon Vlassopulos, said Mint Songs had helped “thousands of artists get their start in Web3,” enabling them to reach fans in new ways and unlock new revenue streams through digital collectibles. He called their work “groundbreaking.”

Vlassopulos, who had nearly three years at Roblox before becoming the CEO of Napster in September, also said Napster’s next step was to include digital collectibles as rewards “for engaging with artists.” These collectibles will be added to the “hundreds of thousands of artists storefronts” already on Napster.

The co-founder and CTO of Mint Songs, Garrett Hughes, said he believed in Napster’s “vision to finally take Web3 music to the mainstream.” As part of the merger, Hughes will serve as an advisor to the company to help integrate Mint Song’s tech with the Napster platform. Mint Song’s Natham Pham will also join Napster to lead Web3 product initiatives.

Last year, Napster was acquired by Hivemind and Algorand. Part of their strategy is to remake companies that have nostalgic Web1 and Web2 value by using the technological potential of Web3. The acquisition of Mint Song looks like another step towards making Napster a major player in Web3 music.

Web3 Music Continues to Evolve

Napster isn’t the only company interested in the potential of Web3 music. As Web3 infiltrates a myriad of industries, we’ve seen a rise in platforms and projects dedicated to blockchain-based music and NFTs. Here are some recent stories from Rarity Sniper about NFT music.

In November, Decentraland hosted its second Metaverse Music Festival, which brought over 100 artists to 15 virtual stages. Artists included Soulja Boy, Ozzy Osbourne, DJ Dillon Francis and more. Decentraland also partnered with several brands to bring regional music to the festival.

Next, two months ago, Winamp announced it was adding functionality for Ethereum and Polygon music NFTs. Winamp users can now easily play NFTs from both blockchains on their device, as well as organize and arrange the NFTs like any other music file.

Lastly, Warner Music Group partnered with Polygon to launch an NFT music platform called LGND. Users will be able to connect their own Web3 wallet to buy and trade music NFTs from various blockchains. LGNF has already onboarded its first EDM label, Spinnin’ Records.

The NFT music ecosystem is evolving at a rapid pace, and it will be interesting to see which platforms come out on top. Napster certainly appears to have the team, time, technology, and desire to be the next big thing in Web3 music, and its acquisition of Mint Songs shows it’s not afraid to put its money where its mouth is. We look forward to see what Napster does next.