It took music-streaming subscription service Rhapsody a decade to gather a total of one million paying subscribers. It’s been two and a half years since the service surpassed that milestone in December of 2011, and now Rhapsody International has announced that it has doubled the number, with more than two million paying subscribers globally for its premium music services, including Napster, Rhapsody itself, and its recently launched Internet radio service Rhapsody unRadio.
Prime competitor Spotify asserted its dominance in the music-streaming realm when it reached the towering marker of 10 million paying subscribers back in May. But Rhapsody, the company which first introduced the world to the now-common music-streaming subscription model, still holds sway over others jockeying for prime position, including Beats Music’s tepid 250,000 subscribers.
Rhapsody’s official press release also included information about a planned expansion into Latin America and Europe via partnerships with large global mobile telecommunications companies SFR and Telefonica.
Rhapsody also announced a free two-week trial of its latest subscription service, unRadio, which offers “infinite skips and no ads.” Users can give it a whirl for 14 days before forking over the $5-per-month charge. The service boasts an “endless” catalog of 30 million-plus songs, “thousands of live radio stations from across the world,” and offline playlist functionality similar to Spotify’s Premium service, allowing subscribers to mark any track that pops up as a favorite to automatically save it for offline listening. The new service was recently unveiled as a partnership with T-Mobile. The service is also free to T-Mobile customers on its unlimited data plan.
Rhapsody’s Napster division, in collaboration with France’s second-largest mobile operator – SFR – also brought the unRadio format to Europe underneath the Napster umbrella, which is reportedly also available starting today. The service will be branded as Napster Decouverte, or “Napster Discovery.” Additionally, Napster and Telefonica have introduced the similar Napster Premiere service to Latin America.
The company also gave a few glimpses into the “songs, albums and artists most popular with Rhapsody and Napster members…over the past three months.” Here are the results:
Most popular songs:
- Global – “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- United States – “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, feat. Charli XCX
- Latin America – “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- Europe – “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit, feat. Jess Glyne
Most popular albums:
- Global – G I R L by Pharrell Williams
- United States – Nothing was the Same by Drake
- Latin America – Live in London – At the Royal Albert Hall by Julio Iglesias
- Europe – Frozen by Various Artists
Most popular artists:
- Global – Michael Jackson
- United States – Eminem
- Latin America – Jorge & Mateus
- Europe – Coldplay
While the music-streaming game is a cutthroat affair with a razor thin profit margin, for now at least, Rhapsody appears to be standing up with the giants in the field. Meanwhile, Apple’s soon-to-be-acquired Beats Music has its work cut out for it.
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