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Napster's Adventures in the Skin Trade

September 17

In another bizarre chapter in the saga of music file-sharer Napster, the company announced this week that it had received an offer from publicly-traded Spanish pornography vendor Private Media to buy the Napster URL and brand name for under $3 million in stock.

After having a purchase bid by the companyís primary investor Bertlesmann axed by a Delaware bankruptcy judge, Napster had been liquidating its remaining assets. If Private's bid is successful, the company would use the Napster brand to establish a recognizable presence for its upcoming porn file-sharing environment.

With an estimated 110 million consumers and $1 billion in online revenue, the porn industry has been growing in the midst of a broad decline in IT demand. While the chances of a successful bid by Private seem low, the possibility of Napster assets being applied to such an enterprise underlines how far this inovative company's prospects have fallen.

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