The Value Of The Napster Brand
from the won't-last-long-at-this-rate dept
I made fun of Roxio for buying the Napster name, suggesting that by the time they got it back running, not too many people would care that it was called Napster. As I said at the time, I'm sure the initial name recognition will cause a lot of people to check out the new Napster, but once they realized it wasn't very good (or anything like the old Napster), the name wouldn't go very far. Now, the NY Times is releasing some more details on Napster 2.0, and it includes one interesting tidbit about the brand. In a study in early 2002 about what file sharing applications people use, a bunch of folks said "Napster" - which was impossible, because the service had gone offline six months earlier. So, apparently, the brand had at least some staying power as a "generic" name for file sharing. Of course, that was over a year ago already and the details suggest the new system is (once again) not about music sharing, but about music downloading. It's also going to have lots of annoying restrictions on what you can do with your music, which is exactly the thing consumers have made it clear they don't want. What's funny is that each time the music industry launches another "legitimate" music downloading service they creep one tiny step closer to what people want. It would be great if they just realized that eventually they're going to have to go all the way, so they might as well give up wasting their time on half-assed efforts and offer a real file sharing service.