Tuesday 25 August 2020 9:53 am

Virtual live music business Melody VR buys Napster in $70m deal

Virtual live music business Melody VR said today it has bought music streaming business Napster in a $70m (£53.8m) deal.

Melody VR, which launched in 2018, uses virtual reality technology to allow music fans to experience gigs from artists such as Post Malone, Chainsmokers (pictured), Lewis Capaldi, Blake Shelton, Wiz Khalifa, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, Fall Out Boy and Julia Michaels.

Read more: You’re virtually there: How MelodyVR is helping music fans see their favourite artists

Internet music pioneer Napster is 84 per cent owned by Nasdaq-listed Real Networks.

Napster has 3m users and had 10.8bn streams and revenue of $119m in 2019.

Melody VR said the deal “will enable the creation of a unique music platform that will offer both immersive live performances and music streaming.”

Melody VR and Napster will initially operate as independent businesses with the goal of combining their two offerings in the future.

Melody VR chief executive Anthony Matchett said: “MelodyVR’s acquisition of Napster will result in the development of the first ever music entertainment platform which combines immersive visual content and music streaming.”

He added: “Our purchase of Napster, one of the music industry’s original disruptors, is born out of our wish to deliver the world’s foremost music experience, available seamlessly across audio and visual media and in turn presenting a truly next generation music service.”

Read more: Napster and Rhapsody team up

Napster chief executive Bill Patrizio said: “This is a tremendous outcome for two organisations with complementary platforms and loyal audiences, and we could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company.

“The product, technology and cultural synergies of Napster and Melody VR will bring tremendous innovation for music lovers, artists and the entire music industry.”