How Napster Killed the Traditional Music Industry

It was fifteen years ago this month–June 1, 1999, to be exact–that a new P2P file-sharing program was set free by its creator to some friends on his IRC channel.  Soon tens of millions of people would be using Napster and the music industry would never, ever be the same again.  The Daily Beast looks back on what Napster wrought.

Everyone has their own story about their first encounter with downloaded music. For millions, Napster was the vehicle for that encounter. On the 15th anniversary of its launch, I reached out to a dozen music journalists and editors for their thoughts on Napster——their initial feelings about it, whether they used it, its overall effect on the industry and music listeners, and any other memorable stories they had. This is what they had to say.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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