Napster Begins Planned Acquisition Spree Amid Shift to Web3

20-plus-year-old music service has acquired Mint Songs, and Napster’s CEO says the company is eyeing more deals with “best-of-breed tech partners”

article-image

Source: Shutterstock / Ralf Liebhold, modified by Blockworks

share

The longest-running independent music streaming service is making a Web3 push.

Napster is doing so through the acquisition of an NFT marketplace, the company said on Wednesday — the first in a planned series of acquisitions to speed up its ambitions in the sector. 

The streaming service has finalized a deal to buy Mint Songs, a platform that helps music artists build Web3 communities, mint songs and offer exclusive art to fans. Exact terms were not disclosed.

Napster CEO Jon Vlassopulos told Blockworks the natural next step for the company was to include collectibles that fans can purchase or get as rewards for engaging with artists.

“Given Mint Songs has already built and operated one of the leading collectible marketplaces, the acquisition will allow us to get this new feature rolled out to our base quickly so that we can offer our global artist and label partners an easy way to mint and present collectibles to their fans and earn a new revenue stream,” Vlassopulos said.

Mint Songs co-founder Garrett Hughes will join Napster as an advisor. Nate Pham, a former head of product for Mint Songs, is set to lead the acquiring company’s Web3 product initiatives. 

Founded in 1999, Napster now offers more than 100 million tracks to subscribers.

“As we looked for a partner that could take what we’ve built over the last two years and give artists a true marketplace for their assets where millions of fans are already active, it became abundantly clear that Jon and Napster have the vision to finally take Web3 music to the mainstream,” Hughes said in a statement Wednesday. 

The acquisition comes after blockchain company Algorand and crypto investment firm Hivemind bought Napster last year “to once again revolutionize the music industry by bringing blockchain and Web3 to artists and fans,” according to a LinkedIn post at the time.

Hivemind was also involved in competing music service LimeWire’s $10 million private token sale just before that, led by Kraken Ventures, Arrington Capital and GSR. LimeWire said at the time it would soon launch a digital collectibles marketplace.

Napster outlined plans to apply Web3 technology to its existing business in June, saying that a new entity — Napster Innovation Foundation — would issue Napster tokens using the Algorand blockchain protocol.

Napster then hired Vlassopulos, the former global head of music at gaming platform Roblox, as its chief executive last September. 

Vlassopulos told Blockworks Napster is not done with buying, referring to the surge of recent innovation across Web3 and the metaverse sectors, as well as digital music and artificial intelligence initiatives. 

“Napster feels it can be a great partner to bring many of these new features and business models to the mainstream under an iconic brand,” Vlassopulos said. “We will continue to expand our Web3 and community features both organically and through acquisition or partnerships with best-of-breed tech partners.”

As for the Napster token, a spokesperson said the company is planning to launch it this year, but declined to comment further.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg

Research

The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.

article-image

Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral

article-image

Sponsored

Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM

article-image

The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees

article-image

Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them

article-image

I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right

article-image

Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member