June 1, 1999: Something happened 16 years ago today that changed the world of music forever. And you’re consuming music the way you do because of this event. Any idea what that event was? Sixten years ago today that a college kid named Sean Fanning, released a program he’d written to some of his music fan friends. He gave it to 30 friends he had met in various chat rooms. These were all people who had grown frustrated trying to find MP3s online.
Shawn’s program made it easy to find and share these files. He called his program “Napster” after the nickname his friends gave him as the result of his short, nappy hair. These 30 friends weren’t supposed to share this program with anyone–but, well, you know what happened. Before it was shut down, Napster had 26.4 million users. But even when it was sued out of existence, the cat was out of the bag and the music industry had been changed forever. More next time.