Napster is no longer a distant thought; the once revolutionary service is making its return in Canada as its second territory (Germany being the only territory currently operating Napster).
Napster was available as a music streaming service for seven years before being acquired by Rhapsody International, its current owner, in 2011 and being operated in the German territory. The one-time file-sharing site has returned from dormancy as a subscription online music service, similar to Spotify and Apple Music.
The service offers online streaming and offline playback access to around 35 million songs. It also features hand-curated playlists by local artists like Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara. Subscriptions are being offered at $9.99 CAD ($7.65 USD), with the option of a 3-month trial for $1.00 CAD.
Will Napster be able to overcome a market that is already dominated by well-established brands? Time will tell. The service is available in Canada on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos and Chromecast platforms. No word is out yet on future expansion to the U.S. and other countries.
“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,” -Ethan Rudin, Napster CFO