Rhapsody is bringing Napster's resurrection to full circle, rebranding itself with the Napster moniker to allegedly further improve its subscription database.
Under the wings of recently seated Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Davis, the company's name, Rhapsody, will be disappearing in the near future, and in its place, Napster will be reborn. This is reportedly a product of the company's planned restructuring where certain employee layoffs are to be expected.
"As part of our plan to better position Rhapsody/Napster for long-term profitability and accelerated growth in a competitive global market, we have a new, streamlined structure for the company that unfortunately impacts a number of positions across our global offices," explains Davis in a statement.
Previously launched in Canada as an established music streaming service, Napster was once known for its peer-to-peer (P2P) media transfer platform that allowed users to download songs from the Internet without actually paying for it.
The original Napster was founded by college student Shawn Fanning in 1999 and saw the program running for two years before legal action took place. It was causing record labels millions of losses, after all.
Later acquired by Rhapsody in 2011, Napster has since then been operating as a legal music streaming platform for the company's various offers abroad. The latest announcement from Rhapsody reveals that Napster will be taking the U.S. market as well.
The CEO notes that the company saw a major increase of 35 percent in paid subscribers the previous year, and Davis hopes that this move will further increase their company's foothold in the online streaming industry, competing against the likes of Apple and Spotify.
"We're proud of the product innovations we've introduced that connect music fans with each other to discover new music they love,” he adds, as the company looks forward to creating more “experiences and partnerships that increase the amount of music people emotionally connect and listen to around the world."
As for current subscribers to the Rhapsody service, there will be no major changes to ongoing subscriptions, as only the logo and name will be updated in a later release, the specific date of which is yet to be revealed.
"No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love," the release writes.
Current Rhapsody offers include the $4.99 per month subscription that provides ad-free unlimited radio service as well as the $9.99 plan that lets subscribers download music for offline listening.