Hey, remember Napster? Of course you do! It’s the file-sharing service you used circa 2000 to illegally download all of your favorite Beastie Boys and Metallica albums. Sure, Sean Parker’s company may have been crushed under a towering stack of litigation, but here’s something you might not know: the music-streaming service Rhapsody bought what remained of Napster in 2011 and has owned the naming rights ever since.
Today, Rhapsody finally used those assets to officially rebrand itself as Napster in what can only be described as a shrewd and shameless play on early 2000s nostalgia. In a note accompanying the announcement, the service promised that everything other than its name will stay pretty much the same: “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!”
The news of Napster’s resurrection comes as a welcome surprise to… well, nobody actually. For better or for worse, the internet no longer resembles the Wild West of Napster’s first, ill-fated reign. A simple name change won’t do anything to change that.
In other news, somewhere Lars Ulrich is crying.