Napster, the peer-to-peer sharing service co-founded by Sean Parker, will merge with Rhapsody, a major on-demand music service. According to Mashable, Rhapsody signed a contract last month to purchase Napster from Best Buy, and Napster will officially die this coming Thursday. As is well known, Napster hasn't had the easiest of lives, but played a huge role in the evolution of the music distribution business. The company was started in 1999, but two years later was shut down by a court order. Napster users downloading music illegally were facing lawsuits from the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA). Of course, other peer-to-peer services, namely Kazaa and Limewire came up.
The cat is going to ground.
The way Napster changed the music distribution industry is what also made Apple significant in the industry: the sale of singles for people who did not want to purchase entire albums to listen to a few songs. Of course, now iTunes is facing competition from music streaming services like Grooveshark and Spotify.
Back in 2008, Napster was acquired by Best Buy, which allowed the music service to keep its name and branding intact. Now, however, Napster will finally go to ground with Rhapsody. What Rhapsody will do with Napster might be interesting to watch. Did you ever use Napster? Or were Kazaa or Limewire more your beat? Let us know in the comments section below.