When it comes to their respective spots in game consoles and music streaming, Nintendo’s Wii U and Rhapsody are decidedly B-squad. For Nintendo, it’s Playstation and Xbox that get all the glory, while Rhapsody is continuously overshadowed by Spotify, and now, Apple Music. So it sort of makes sense these two “underdogs” would team up.
Announced today on Rhapsody’s blog, the subscription streamer has landed on Wii U, available via a new app from the Nintendo eShop. Rhapsody subscribers with a Wii U system — not exactly a colossal horde — will be able to stream straight to their system, including the ability to call up playlists and other menu options directly from the Wii U gamepad interface.
To help jumpstart the deal, Wii U owners will be able try out Rhapsody (aka Napster in some regions) with a 30-day free trial.
The new app allows for easy access via the touch screen to call up Rhapsody’s “hundreds of curated radio stations,” and millions of on-demand tracks from the site’s library.
“We know that close to 91 percent of all Americans listen to music more than 24 hours a week,” said Ethan Rudin, Rhapsody International’s chief financial officer. “We’re honored to partner with Nintendo to bring music to Wii U users, and continue Rhapsody’s goal of making it easy for people to listen to the music they love wherever they are.”
Rhapsody has been fighting the good fight against its larger on-demand rivals for some time now, but small though it may be, the service has shown to be a steadfast option in the world of streaming. Rhapsody has grown to a respectable 3 million subscribers at last count, with 50 percent year-over-year growth in 2015. And all of this without Apple’s mighty user base or enticing three-month trial to rely on, which has helped garner Apple Music as many as 11 million subscribers as of February, according to Apple execs.
While Nintendo has definitely been on the decline as of late in comparison to its PS4 and Xbox One rivals, the latest deal is another way for Rhapsody to make its way into the streaming conversation.