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Napster acquires Website3 tunes startup Mint Tunes


Feb 15, 2023
Napster acquires Web3 music startup Mint Songs


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Napster, the unique audio disruptor and lengthy-functioning unbiased audio streaming services, has acquired Internet3 tunes startup Mint Music.

Mint Tunes runs a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace that will help tunes artists develop Website3 communities as well as mint tracks and deliver unique artwork for their admirers to individual and trade.

Mint Tracks formerly elevated $4.3 million from buyers together with Freestyle Money and Castle Island Ventures and labored with prime Net3 artists like Gramatik, Mark de Clive-Lowe, and Black Dave amongst a lot of other individuals to supply special NFT items. Napster also announced that it has employed Mint Songs’ Nate Pham to guide its Internet3 solution initiatives. Prior to Mint Tunes, Nate held senior product roles at Pandora and UnitedMasters. 

When former Roblox executive Jon Vlassopulos joined Napster as CEO at the close of very last yr, he declared the company’s plans to seem for acquisitions inside of the Net3 and broader electronic tunes startup ecosystem. This is the 1st of a series of acquisitions Napster intends to make to pace up its Web3 feature rollout programs.


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“When I joined, we were chatting about Napster Ventures and on the lookout at the possibility in the marketplace for prospective roll-ups,” stated Vlassopulos. “To velocity up our go-to-industry of the Website3 characteristics that we saw as a pure to evolve from in which we are, we have been so excited. They are wonderful. I consider there is been so a great deal innovation in the World wide web3 audio place.”

Mint Songs’ co-founder and CTO, Garrett Hughes, will join Napster as an adviser in which he will do the job closely with Vlassopulos to combine Mint Songs’ technologies into the Napster system. Hughes will also go on to recommend the Napster workforce as they roll out new Website3 products and solutions and products and services that have been beforehand on the Mint Songs roadmap. 

“We’re excited to provide the tech to the Napster ecosystem, to start extending this presenting to our lovers and artists,” he stated.

Vlassopulos claimed Mint Music did a fantastic career finding to know artists and working with them on Net3 goods.
“We are in an unprecedented period of innovation in the digital songs house and it feels like there have been much more new music startups formed in the very last two to a few a long time than in the earlier 20. It is inspiring to see so quite a few proficient teams pushing to create a songs ecosystem that is better for artists and followers and we are delighted to welcome one of the most impressive Web3 new music startups, Mint Tracks, as the most recent member of the Napster loved ones,” explained Vlassopulos. “Garrett and team have carried out groundbreaking perform helping 1000’s of artists get their get started in World-wide-web3, access their enthusiasts in new imaginative ways via collectibles, and unlock considerable new earnings streams.” 

Napster CEO Jon Vlassopulos.
Napster CEO Jon Vlassopulos.

Napster has longstanding artist and label associations as well as shopper facts from 20-additionally several years of presenting a commercial new music services whilst Mint Tracks has experienced the possibility to function with artists and labels on the front strains of Internet3, serving to them consider their initially ways into this new remarkable room.

This coming together of Napster and Mint Tunes creates a prospect for artists to sign up for a trusted platform that can help with their existing streaming distribution whilst also unlocking new creative and professional chances for admirers by collectibles, all in a single position. Collectibles can now be section of artist releases and enthusiast engagement strategies, exposing the plan of gathering and ownership to mass-market place tunes
supporters increasing from the present-day more minimal NFT collector base.

“As we appeared for a lover that could take what we’ve developed in excess of the final two decades and give artists a accurate market for their assets the place tens of millions of fans are presently active, it grew to become abundantly very clear that Jon and Napster have the vision to finally just take Website3 Music to the mainstream,” stated Hughes, CTO of Mint Music, in a assertion. “Our intention all together has been to build deep, engaging, and impressive techniques for artists to link with fans that also present them an chance to monetize that fandom. Conversely, we see a demand from customers from lovers for a songs assistance to present a lot more than just on-demand songs and podcasts, which makes Napster’s bold ambitions all the far more interesting.”

The acquisition of Mint Music is the to start with offer executed by the newly created Napster Ventures, which was declared at the very same time as Vlassopulos’ appointment as CEO and is centered on fostering, investing in, and acquiring the greatest World wide web3 music startups. 

“We are excited for Napster to be a central player in the new music World wide web3 ecosystem and getting Mint Tunes is a terrific foundational phase,” stated Matt Zhang, handling lover of Hivemind, which led an trader consortium to receive Napster previous calendar year, in a statement. “The mixture of Napster’s continued innovation that powers the system at this time along with Mint Songs’ engineering IP and abilities, will enable drive Internet3 innovation for the new music field.”

Napster heritage

Napster was part of Rhapsody a ten years back.

Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker commenced Napster as a digital audio streaming assistance in 1999. It grew to about 80 million registered users who loved the strategy of absolutely free audio. Napster had far more than 100 million MP3 tracks at its top.

I amassed a really substantial assortment of my personal. But then the likes of Metallica, Dr. Dre, A&M Information, and the Recording Sector Association of The us arrived out 1 by a person from Napster and sued the startup. In mid-2002, Napster declared individual bankruptcy and I stated so prolonged to my cost-free new music.

But that was not essentially the conclude. Roxio acquired the Napster model and logos and revived its Pressplay music service as Napster 2.. In 2008, Best Obtain purchased Napster. In 2011, Ideal Purchase merged Napster with Rhapsody. By 2016, Rhapsody phased out its model in favor of Napster. Then it was sold in 2020 to VR live performance agency MelodyVR.

And in May well 2022, Napster was bought to Hivemind, Algorand, and an investor consortium. The traders in this new round incorporate Hivemind, Algorand, SkyBridge Money, Alumni Ventures, Borderless Funds, and G20 Ventures, which will accelerate Napster’s Website3 initiatives. Brevan Howard Electronic, Arrington Cash, and RSE Ventures are also among the the present investors of the music brand name. Vlassopulos, who ran new music integrations at Roblox, joined at the conclusion of September as CEO.

Above time, Napster has paid out out billions of pounds to the new music marketplace, and so it has a keep track of history, Vlassapulos mentioned. And so a lot of artists and providers and makes want to husband or wife with Napster, he mentioned.

He thinks that virtual concerts wherever thousands of people collect in online activities will be section of the new music metaverse platforms. But the business continue to has a whole lot of perform to do to figure it all out.

The company has about 150 people in London, Seattle, Germany, France, and Brazil. Vlassopulos thinks that solutions connected to the Mint Tunes deal will start arriving in the next quarter.

Vlassopulos claimed that the financial slowdown has produced the startups in the World wide web3 place less expensive. (He did not disclose the value Napster paid out).

“On the beneficial, I’ve observed the most innovation I’ve seen in 20 yrs in the tunes house in conditions of men and women seeking one thing new,” he mentioned.

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