Music streaming service Rhapsody, known outside the U.S. as Napster, took on heavy losses in 2015, dropping $35.5 million on total revenues of $202 million. That’s a net loss increase of 66 percent over 2014.
The company’s financial data was recently made available in the form of an annual report from RealNetworks, which owns 43 percent of the company.
Rhapsody did grow in the past year, but put even more money towards expenses in an effort to do so, a typical move for Internet companies looking to expand. The company currently boasts around 3 million users, based on estimates from Billboard.
One of the oldest streaming music companies, having launched in 2001, Rhapsody helped build the foundation for many of the modern players in the streaming music industry. Essentially, no streaming services are in the black right now. The industry’s biggest player Spotify reported a net loss of a whopping $197 million on total revenues of $1.3 billion in 2014. That’s where the key difference between Spotify and Rhapsody lies on the business front: Spotify has ten times the user base that Rhapsody does, with an estimated 30 million subscribers, so everything is bigger — even the losses.
Most major streaming companies, like many growth-focused Internet companies, remain in the red year-over-year as they look to expand in the global market. And while Spotify, Rhapsody, and others are aiming towards a profitable future, it’s hard to tell if the numbers will ever add up.
Still, officials from Rhapsody are optimistic about the future of the company, and they have no reason not to be; the company showed significant growth last year despite it’s outlays. And with the streaming industry continuing to see increased revenues overall, Rhapsody CFO Ethan Rudin is confident in the future of the company.
In an interview with Billboard, Rudin said that executives at the company have, “Never been more excited or optimistic about a category that we helped define in early 2001.”
With 15 years under it’s belt, Rhapsody is unlikely to fold any time soon.
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