Napster understood the internet’s potential for decentralised music distribution, and offered it to consumers in a way that was simple to understand and use.
Many critics have argued that the music industry could have avoided some of the problems it faces today if we had embraced Napster rather than fighting it.
That’s probably true, and I, for one, regret that we weren’t faster in figuring out how to create a sustainable model for music on the internet.
But this view also overlooks the formidable hurdles we faced in 1999.
See also Music industry ‘missed’ Napster