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Napster acquires Mint Songs to improve its Web3 goals

Napster acquires Mint Songs to improve its Web3 goals

The resurrected music brand is expanding its footprint to encompass digital collectibles.

With the purchase of startup Mint Songs, Napster’s streaming music service is taking its next step into the Web3 world.

Napster first said it was getting into blockchain in June of last year, when it stated it was going to launch a token utilizing Algorand blockchain. Today, Napster says that its first Web3 offerings will be built on the Mint Songs purchase.

Garrett Hughes, who helped start Mint Songs and was its CTO, will work as an advisor for Napster.

“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.

Napster states that the new platform will offer digital collectibles that are supposed to bring artists and their fans closer together by building a community around the artist and their music and allowing the artist interact with their fanbase.

“The hope is that we can bring this innovation to the mainstream and get consumers—regular fans—just doing it,” Napster CEO Jon Vlassopulos told Decrypt in an interview. “So it’s almost going back to that [point] where you had collectible downloads that were scarce, and it just wasn’t on-chain.”

What was the main goal?

The acquisition of Mint Songs is the first deal by the newly formed Napster Ventures, which mission is to foster, invest in, and acquire the best Web3 music entrepreneurs, according to the firm.

“We’ve been in the market since the end of September, October, and we’ve had half a billion media hits—it’s been nothing but positive in terms of the brand,” Vlassopulos said.

Vlassopulos explains that bringing Napster to Web3 is a great chance for it to once again be a disruptor.
“We were the original disrupter—there’s a feeling of ownership that we’re coming back to disrupt again,” he said.

In May 2022, blockchain company Algorand and Matt Zhang’s Hivemind Capital Partners acquired Napster. The paid music streaming service was kept going. In September 2022, Vlassopulos became the CEO of Napster. The firm then started making plans to acquire Web3 and digital music startup projects.

“We are excited for Napster to be a central player in the music Web3 ecosystem, and acquiring Mint Songs is a great foundational step,” founder and managing partner of Hivemind Matt Zhang said in a statement. “The combination of Napster’s continued innovation that powers the platform currently, along with Mint Songs’ technology IP and expertise, will help drive Web3 innovation for the music industry.”

Napster says it wants to add Mint Songs’ technology to its platform and start selling products and services that were already planned by Mint Songs. The first iteration of the new Napster platform, according to Vlassopulos, will come out in the second quarter of this year.

“It feels like Web3 was around for a decade, and it’s ready for consumer success,” Vlassopulos said. “So the bet is that, as 20 years ago, music was the on-ramp to digital, why shouldn’t music again be the on-ramp for the Web3 consumer?”

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