Long after Napster transformed the music and tech worlds before a court-ordered closure in 2001, the one-time file-sharing site has returned to Canada as a subscription online music service.
The Canadian relaunch gives consumers online streaming and offline playback access to around 35 million songs for CAN$9.99 (US$7.65) a month. The music streaming service was legally available here for seven years until 2011, when Napster left the Canadian market after being acquired by U.S.-based Rhapsody International, its current owner.
Napster now returns to a crowded Canadian subscription music streaming market dominated by Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music. “It was important to us that we enter Canada with a personalized music experience that has a complete catalog of local, national and international artists,” said Napster CFO Ethan Rudin in a statement.
Napster’s new Canadian service, available on the iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos and Chromecast platforms, has hand-curated playlists and local artists like Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara.