Brooklyn, NY | Content Director, NMS
Digital music service Rhapsody International expanded under the iconic Napster brand to 14 new European countries yesterday to compete with rival on-demand music services such as Deezer and Spotify, who account for the majority of the EU market.
As of Monday, Napster’s services are available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands, bringing the total number of countries where the company’s services are offered to 17. Rhapsody International offers services under the name Rhapsody in the US and Napster in Europe. Europeans can pay 9.95€ per month for unlimited web and mobile streaming under the Napster brand, purchased by Rhapsody in 2011.
Rhapsody isn’t the only on-demand service expanding their international presence. Sweden’s Spotify added 8 new countries in April, to bring their total markets to 28. French service Deezer has rapidly expanded to 217 countries, except for the US – the world’s largest music market. All three companies require tens of millions of paying subscribers in order for their business model to be successful, hence each service’s increasing expansion efforts. Currently Deezer reports four million subscribers, Spotify six million, and Rhapsody more than 1 million.
Rhapsody spent one year planning their expansion, during which they developed localized playlists and editorial content for each individual country as opposed to simply switching the service over all at once.
We’re not delivering a music archive, we’re delivering a great music service.
You can’t just put a big bucket of songs out and expect people to buy it. You need to adapt to languages, local content, local programming. What’s important in Portugal is not going to be the same as in Germany
To promote Rhapsody’s services in these new markets, they have teamed up wit Sonos to offer a free 90-day trial with the purchase of a Sonos system. There are also rumors, Rhapsody is working to bundle its service in the new territories with several European carriers.
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