Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, July 28, 2021

owns nothing, periodNapster, that original bad-boy of the music file-sharing realm, finds that it’s tough sledding trying to reposition itself as a legitimate online music store.

And it all has to do with its turn-of-the-century reputation preceding it:

“When you tell people they should get Napster, they say, ‘What are you trying to do? Get me arrested?’” fumes Thomas Sailors, 49, manager of personal investment holding company Cloverdale Investments, who is running for a [takeover-attempt] board seat with [fellow Napster shareholder Kavan] Singh. “That tells me management is doing a poor job of communicating what this company does.”

That anecdote is very telling, because it indicates that, even some six years after Napster was relaunched, it still hasn’t shaken off it’s original claim to fame.

For most folks, the word “Napster” is still a keyword for “free downloads”, and the public seems to be stubbornly holding onto that mindshare — even though it’s effectively ancient history in Internet terms (a whole new crop of kids have come of age since Napster’s birth). It’s puzzling; I thought at one point that Napster could successfully transition its brand to a pay-for model; but for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked.

Sailors blames a lack of effective marketing for the persistent mindshare. Certainly, aggressive and persuasive campaigns could get the message out, and I certainly haven’t seen much of that coming out of Napster. But frankly, when you’re talking about online music sales, if you’re not iTunes, it’s a tough road.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/28/2008 01:19:03 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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