Rhapsody acquires Napster International for European expansion

Friday, January 27, 2012 - 11:10am

Rhapsody and NapsterRhapsody will expand into Europe by acquiring Napster International, which operates in the UK and Germany, the company announced recently.

Back in October 2011, Rhapsody announced it had acquired Napster from Best Buy (RAIN coverage here). The purchase of Napster International is "the latest piece of the jigsaw," writes PaidContent.

"Rhapsody will migrate Napster subscribers to its own platform in March, introducing its own web player," PaidContent reports. "The Napster brand and employees will remain in place in the UK and Germany."

The combination of Rhapsody and Napster will push the latter service's user count to over 1 million.

PaidContent has more coverage here.

Barnes & Noble out Nook Tablet with Pandora, MOG, Rhapsody, Grooveshark

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:00pm

Nook TabletTo compete with Amazon's recently-announced Kindle Fire tablet, Barnes & Noble today unveiled the Nook Tablet. The device features a 7" color touchscreen plus apps from Pandora, MOG, Rhapsody, Grooveshark, Netflix and Hulu. It arrives next week for $250.

Engadget has more coverage here and here.

(Pandora is actually no stranger to Nooks. It's offered on the Nook Color and can be hacked onto the original black-and-white Nook eReader.)

Rhapsody: We've seen "tremendous growth" since Spotify launched in U.S.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 9:00am

RhapsodyWith the hype surrounding Spotify's launch in the U.S., one might expect similar existing services like Rhapsody to suffer. But the opposite is true, according to Rhapsody's senior director of music licensing Adam Parness. 

“We have seen tremendous growth since Spotify came onto U.S. soil,” he said at a CMJ Music Marathon panel. “It validates our model.”

Parness said Rhapsody currently has 800,000 subscribers hopes to surpass one million in the next six months. Spotify has about 250,000 U.S. subscribers, the New York Times reports.

You can find more coverage here.

Google hires Rhapsody Label Relations exec David Krinsky

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 11:00am

David KrinskyRhapsody's General Manager of Label Relations and Business Development David Krinsky (pictured) has been hired by Google, reports Digital Music News.

It is not yet known what Krinsky will be doing at Google, but DMN writes "we're putting our bets on Google Music [the company's cloud music service, RAIN coverage here]...The presence of Krinsky suggests some sort of conversation [with the major record labels about licensing], though we'll have to see."

You can find DMN's full analysis here.

Rhapsody acquires Napster, will combine customer base for on-demand music subscription service

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 12:30pm
Rhapsody acquires Napster
Music subscription service Rhapsody has acquired Napster, gaining the platform's subscribers and intellectual property. 
Though newcomers like Spotify have earned more buzz of late, Rhapsody actually boasts the "largest amoung of paid users in the U.S.," writes Fortune, with 800,000 subscribers. That number will grow by "several hundred thousand subscribers" with the addition of Napster.
Napster was acquired by Best Buy in October 2008 for $122 million in cash. Best Buy gains a minority share in Rhapsody. Fortune has more coverage here.

Sean Ross: Use FB to be interactive, not intrusive

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 9:00am

One well-respected industry journalist recently shared his own thoughts regarding radio's embrace of Facebook data-sharing: Sean Ross, in Radio-Info.

Facebook page with Spotify timelineSeveral online music/Internet radio were announced last Thursday as part of Facebook’s new music platform, like Spotify, iHeart Radio, Rhapsody, Slacker, RDIO, MOG, and Jelli. Ross found that while he enjoys the ability to share music, sharing everything all the time can quickly lead to "too much information," for both ends of the transaction.

"With Spotify, however, I was already concerned about what I might be unknowingly sharing with my Facebook friends," Ross wrote. "And the iHeartRadio app, while much improved, was a little heavy handed about asking me to log in through Facebook (which you have to do to create personalized stations). It also no longer lets me add a station to my favorites from the App, but tries to make me sync my station preferences to iHeart’s cloud."

As suggested in RAIN's top story today, online radio/music services may soon feel some blowback to what might be perceived by listeners as "too much Facebook sharing," and find pulling back a little leads to a better consumer experience. 

"The first goal of making 'radio' available on more platforms should be increased listening, or maintaining existing listening, by going where listeners are," said Ross. "Building a station’s mailing list or harvesting metrics for advertisers, particularly somebody else’s advertisers, should be a bonus, if listeners are willing to share. Interactive is good. Intrusive isn’t."

Sean Ross writes the Ross on Radio newsletter and Radio-Info (where he's Executive Editor, Music & Programming) column twice weekly. He's also VP/Music and Programming at Edison Research. We recommend you read his column, "Read This Article, No Facebook Log-In Required," in Radio-Info.

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