Best Buy is Buying Napster
Remember when Napster was an upstart controversial music sharing business that was raging across college campuses until it got shut down? Not only has Napster gone legit, it has become Big Business.
As reported by Reuters on Yahoo News, Best Buy is planning to buy Napster for a mere $121 million. This falls about 2 years after Best Buy teamed up with RealNetworks to create a music subscription service to rival Apple's iTunes. That didn't seem to make a dent in the Apple monopoly that has over 70% of the market, but maybe this will.
Why would these two team up?
Napster currently has 700,000 subscribers, and Best Buy hopes to expand that out to new avenues. Best Buy is expanding from just an electronics retailer, with plans to double their annual sales to $80 billion over the next five years. It's eying the wireless market, and Napster already has a robust mobile feature.
In ten years, Napster's gone from renegade upstart, shut down by the music industry, to a big player in big business. Not too shabby. -Leslie Shapiro