Best Buy Puzzles With Napster Acquisition
Just a day before the Wall Street meltdown, electronics retailer Best Buy acquires beleaguered online music company, Napster for $121 million.
Napster was originally the hotbed of peer to peer music sharing which got sued to death by the record labels ushering in the music industry into the digital age. A current era which they are still powerless to resist. Apple came into the picture by offering the iTunes Music store and 99¢ a song which they willingly gave thinking that Apple can never make this work where they have failed. Apparently they were wrong.
Fast forward years later, Napster was revived as a legal music store in an attempt to make its once “music stealers” into “music buyers” apparently didn’t pan out. iTunes holds 70% of the online music business as well as the music players that play them. Amazon is also in the mix with their DRM-free music and even more following suit.
What does Best Buy hope to make with this acquisition? Napster as a brand is not synonymous with “online music store”, Apple has done a very good job of doing that. It would have been better for Best Buy to have created their own music store instead of getting a “has been” brand with losses since its inception and a bad reputation for once being the center of all pirated music in the internet.
At the end of the day, it’s their money.