(CelebrityAccess) – Music streaming service Napster announced today (September 26) it has hired former Roblox Global Head of Music Jon Vlassopulos as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The company has also announced a new funding round from existing investors and new backers including Hivemind, Algorand, SkyBridge Capital, Alumni Ventures, Borderless Capital, and G20 Ventures, which will accelerate Napster’s Web3 initiatives. Brevan Howard Digital, Arrington Capital, and RSE Ventures are also among the existing investors of the music brand.
Napster also announced today – Napster Ventures, which it says “will focus on fostering, investing in, and acquiring the best Web3 music startups”.
Algorand, in partnership with Napster, is also launching an artist development fund, which according to a press release is “designed to help artists navigate and be successful in Web3”.
Vlassopulos joined Roblox as Vice President (VP) and Global Head of Music in 2019, exiting the role at the end of April. Vlassopulos led Roblox’s music partnerships with record labels, publishers, management companies, agencies, artists, brands, and music startups.
“We are excited for Napster to be a central player in the music Web3 ecosystem,” said Matt Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner of Hivemind.
W. Sean Ford, CEO of Algorand, said: “In our early discussions with Jon, we quickly realized his vision of building a fresh, new, and social online music service centered around connecting artists and fans in new ways, and leveraging Web3 technology, aligns perfectly with where we see Napster heading.
“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.”
Vlassopulos, CEO of Napster, added: “It’s an honor to take on this role and I am thrilled to lead a company with such a rich history in the music industry.
“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 startups to bring mainstream fans to Web3.”
Vlassopulos has worked in the music, gaming, and entertainment space for the past three decades.