Napster is back exclusively in Canada as a streaming music service

November 09, 2015

Napster settings
Photo of Napster software version 2 for Windows 98. Credit: Christiaan Colen.

Napster—the peer-to-peer file-sharing service most famously known for outing Metallica as millionaire crybabies and destroying everything the music industry once was—is back. But this time, it comes in the form of another listening model that was hailed as a saviour but really, turned out to be mostly things other than that: a fully-licensed streaming service. And it’s available only in Canada.

As this Globe & Mail article by the talented Joshua Ostroff points out, the bigwigs behind this iteration of Napster obviously have their work cut out for them, as music streaming or downloading services are already readily available in the form of Spotify and Apple Music (the former boasting more than 75 million users). Spotify’s other advantage? They’ve got original Napster co-founder and very rich person Sean Parker behind them as a director and investor. Napster’s former owners include Roxio and Best Buy, and it’s currently owned by Rhapsody. They’re throwing their hat into the ring of a very saturated market, and it’s tough to imagine the old school name coming out on top.

Still, time will tell whether Napster will remain a relic of a bygone era; a once cool thing that everyone did that now hardly anyone remembers. One thing we can be certain of, though, is that other than Apple, maybe, they certainly still have the coolest logo. Hard to beat a cat wearing headphones.


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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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