It got the music streaming party started in 2001. More than a decade later, Rhapsody announces hitting its biggest customer base yet at 2 million subscriptions.
Up from 1.7 million in April, the figure represents combined subscriptions for Rhapsody in the U.S. and Napster in Europe and Latin America. The announcement also comes in time as the company teams up with various carriers to expand the reach of its music streaming service.
In June, Rhapsody launched unRadio for T-Mobile, tapping into the customer base that the fourth largest carrier in the U.S. has to offer. The music streaming service will play songs randomly for a user's chosen genre but there will be no ads to interfere with the experience and users can skip as many times as they want. Songs can also be saved for offline listening if wanted. Highest-tier customers can enjoy unRadio for free while others got $1 discount from the service which costs $5 a month.
In France, Napster will be teaming up with SFR to make unRadio available to subscribers alongside the standard Napster service. This collaboration will be known as Napster Discovery (Napster Découverte). In Latin America, on the other hand, Napster will be working with Telefónica's Movistar to bring unRadio to Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and other countries in the region.
With Rhapsody as a pre-loaded feature from a certain carrier, it makes it easier for a customer to sign up for a subscription. But more than just ease in signing up, the company attributes its growing customer base with the effort it puts into localizing content for a specific country or region.
Competition may be tough but Rhapsody's Chief Product Officer and Senior Vice President of Americas Paul Springer is actually happy about the number of players in the field, noting how the emergence of competition has raised the level of music streaming services in general.
With 10 million subscribers, isn't Spotify a threat?
"We believe really strongly there can be multiple products to serve different people. There's room for both [Rhapsody and Spotify], because we have a product that will suit you," he said.
What about Apple and Beats? The acquisition looks like major improvements to Beats Music can be expected.
"Music has a place with those other companies but it's not really at their core. They go into music to support another business," calmly noted by Springer.