Business Case Studies, Competitive Strategies Case Study, Napster Inc, Singing a New Tune

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Competitive Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Napster Inc.: Singing a New Tune

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Shital Vakhariya, Mridu Verma

Industry: Internet and e-commerce


Case Code: COM0207P

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Napster Inc. (Napster) was the first widely-used peer-to-peer (or P2P) music sharing service on the internet. Its technology allowed music fans to easily share MP3 format song files with each other. Its services were popular among internet users who downloaded copyrighted music. However, between 2002-2005, growing competition had led to Napster’s sales decline. To reverse the declining sales and recapture lost consumers, Napster launched its free downloading service. The case study discusses Napster’s strategies to regain market share in the online music industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Understand the dynamics of online music industry.
  • How Napster became a legendary icon.
  • Impact of legal controversy on online music business
  • Reason for Napster downfall
  • Analyses the future prospects of Napster with reference to the increasing competition.

Keywords : peer-to-peer (or P2P) music sharing service; Internet; Mp3; Free downloading service; Napster; Music industry; Increasing popularity; Competitors; No. of users; Legal challenges; Recording Industry Association of America; Improved technology; Digital online service;Competitive Strategies Case Study; Expansion; Promotional efforts

Contents : 
P2P Network
Birth of Napster
Detail about MP3
Problem solver: Napster
Napster’s problems
Legalising Napster Inc.: Singing a new tune
Napster Re-invents Itself
Napster: Online music downloads
Shawn fanning’s Contribution

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