Melody VR agrees to buy music-streaming platform Napster

UK tech firm Melody VR has agreed a £53m deal to buy music-streaming platform Napster. 

London-listed Melody VR, which specialises in virtual reality experiences of live music events, is taking over US group Rhapsody International, known as Napster. 

Napster shook the music business when it launched in 1999 as a free music downloading platform, but changed its business model when piracy laws made that illegal. 

Deal: Napster shook the music business when it launched in 1999 as a free music downloading platform

Deal: Napster shook the music business when it launched in 1999 as a free music downloading platform

Deal: Napster shook the music business when it launched in 1999 as a free music downloading platform

It now offers more than 90m licensed songs, and has 3m users in 34 countries. 

The deal comes as demand for entertainment has soared amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent shares in Melody VR sharply higher. 

It has set up socially-distanced studios in London and Los Angeles to allow artists to host shows. 

It now wants to add Napster’s music to the catalogue of live music shows. 

Both firms will initially operate as independent companies. Melody VR raised up to £11.7m through a cash-call to fund the acquisition. 

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