Napster has hired Jon Vlassopulos as its CEO.
The company also announced a new funding round with participation from existing investors and new backers including Hivemind, Algorand, SkyBridge Capital, Alumni Ventures, Borderless Capital, and G20 Ventures. The funding will accelerate Napster’s Web3 initiatives.
Jon Vlassopulos, the former vice president and global head of music at Roblox, played a key role in Roblox’s music initiatives and bringing artists into the metaverse. Roblox music experiences have reached over 100 million fans.
“In our early discussions with Jon, we quickly realised his vision of building a fresh, new, and social online music service centred around connecting artists and fans in new ways, and leveraging Web3 technology, aligns perfectly with where we see Napster heading,” said W Sean Ford, CEO of Algorand. “We believe Napster is the perfect brand and platform to lead the next generation of the music industry that goes beyond streaming or avatar-driven virtual concerts. Jon’s strong connectivity with the music industry and vast experience will give us the necessary leadership to make this a reality.”
“It’s an honour to take on this role and I am thrilled to lead a company with such a rich history in the music industry,” said Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of Napster. “With the advent of Web3 technology, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to connect artists and fans in new, innovative ways while also making the fan experience more fun and social and creating new revenue streams for artists.
“I have spent the last three years working hard to establish new, creative, and commercial opportunities for artists in the metaverse and I am looking forward to working alongside the amazing Napster team, our current and future partners, labels, artists, publishers, brands, and start-ups to bring mainstream fans to Web3.”
Napster is also launching Napster Ventures which will focus on investing in and acquiring Web3 music start-ups.
“We are excited for Napster to be a central player in the music Web3 ecosystem,” said Matt Zhang, founder and managing partner of Hivemind. “We look forward to rallying all the amazing innovation that has happened to date so we can all collectively drive mainstream adoption of Web3 technology for the music industry.”
Algorand, in partnership with Napster, is also launching an artist development fund designed to help artists navigate Web3. The fund will invest in artists to help support the marketing and launch of the Web3 artist projects globally.
“Napster has always been at the forefront of music tech and a key partner in helping us deliver Sonos Radio to music fans around the world,” said Ryan Myers, general manager, Sonos Radio. “We are excited about the news unveiled today and look forward to working with Jon and his team in the months ahead.”