We all remember the glory days of Napster when a new song was only a free download away. The file-sharing music service turned the music industry on its head back in 1999 as people stopped looking towards record stores for new music and turned instead to their computers. The website ran into very public legal troubles over copyright infringement laws and had to shut down as a result. Napster re-emerged as an online music store until it was bought out from Best Buy by Rhapsody back in 2011.
After a four year-absence, the infamous music service is making a return as a subscription-based online music service according to The Hollywood Reporter. The service will provide access to around 35 million songs for online streaming and offline playback and will be available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos and Chromecast platforms. There is one catch—the service will only be available in Canada. “It was important to us that we enter Canada with a personalized music experience that has a complete catalog of local, national and international artists,” Napster CFO Ethan Rudin said in a statement.
It will be interesting to see how Napster competes in a market dominated by streaming service behemoths like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music. One thing Napster is doing to compete is recruiting artists for hand-curated playlists with Canadians Alessia Cara and Shawn Mendes as two of the first artists to participate. The service will cost consumers CAN$9.99 (US$7.65) per month. Canadians, you can check out the site at gb.napster.com.