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Metallica Music is Back on Napster After 17 Years

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Metallica’s public battle with Napster at the turn of the century has been minced to bits in editorials here and elsewhere over the years. There’s no need to re-hash it again.

But here’s one we could never have seen coming: due to the rise of streaming services and a series of corporate takeovers and name changes, Metallica are poised to make their music available on Napster once again. With the band’s blessing, this time.

The Napster of today is far from the Napster that attracted Metallica’s ire back in 2000. The brand and logo were first bought by Roxio when the company folded, then Best Buy in 2008, and in 2011 by the streaming service Rhapsody. Then earlier this year Rhapsody changed its name to Napster. Metallica’s self-owned label, Blackened Recordings — which now owns all of Metallica’s old masters and will release their new album Hardwired… to Self-Destruct — negotiated a deal directly with Napster to make the band’s entire catalog (including the new album) available on the service, which currently has 3.5 million paying subscribers (and a new partnership with Sprint which gives Napster direct access to the telecom network’s 60 million customers). Meaning that everything has finally come full circle.

How about that? Could never have seen it coming. At least we’ll always have this:

[Billboard, via Metal Insider]

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