Space Ramblings

The Napster That Just Wouldn’t Die

By any reasonable standard Napster should have been dead a long time ago. Had the record labels cut a deal with Napster and gotten on board file sharing, thereby stealing Apple’s thunder before Apple actually had any thunder to steal, history might have been very different for both Napster and the music industry. Instead the music industry is in hock to Apple, Napster tried to reinvent itself as a rent as you listen streaming music service and like all of them, Napster went nowhere.

But does that mean Napster is dead? Nope. Maybe it’s because Napster fused with pop culture for a little bit giving it the impression of a valuable corporate property. How else can you explain Best Buy paying 54 million dollar of 95 percent above the value of Napster’s mainly worthless stock, which by Tuesday had lost almost all its value and had gone into the toilet, double even the pre-plunge stock value.

Sure everyone wants to sell music online now and Napster does have a presence there. And with BestBuy serving as a major seller of MP3 players, maybe somehow BestBuy can shove Napster down the public’s throat, but it’s a long shot at best. Right now everyone is trying to be Apple, but no one has a clue how. Amazon and Wal-Mart are doing the music retailer thing, so naturally Best Buy, which wants to pretend it’s hip, which is a little something like your Uncle Charlie bringing out his old Foghat albums, thinks it can get in on the action. But for its 54 mil, Best Buy is getting a brand name and a below 1 million subscriber list. It’s going to have to think way out of the box to make something out that.

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