Napster, the file-sharing program that drew the ire of Metallica and forever changed the entire landscape of the music industry, will be among the subjects featured in National Geographic’s The 2000s: A New Reality. The two-part, four-hour special will focus in on many of the previous’ decades biggest moments and innovations, from the iPod to YouTube, and in this exclusive clip, The 2000s examines Napster’s impact and how Silicon Valley turned its attention to the music industry.
“To us, it’s no different than walking into a Tower Records and basically stealing a Metallica CD and walking out with it,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says of Napster in an archival interview. In the span of just seven months, Napster membership jumped from 1 million to 30 million, jumpstarting the “peer-to-peer” revolution. “Napster essentially started the sharing economy,” Don Dodge, Napster’s former VP of Product Development tells The 2000s. “Sharing things with your friends, sharing things on the Internet… Our goal was to get the record labels to see there was a new reality.”
However, instead of embracing and finding ways to utilize the technology, the record industry instead battled Napster and its file-sharing brethren, resulting in a decade-long war that continues to erode the music industry’s physical and digital sales. “[Napster] was the beginning of the new world order in music,” former American Idol judge Randy Jackson says.
The 2000s: A New Reality, which will air on National Geographic on July 12th and 13th, will feature 120 new interviews with Aughts icons like Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Perez Hilton, Michael Moore, Bill O’Reilly, Sharon Osbourne, General David Petraeus, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Donald Trump and many more. The series comes on the heels of the network’s preceding decade studies The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us and The ’90s: The Last Great Decade?