Pioneering online music service Rhapsody leapt into its European expansion, more than a decade after its U.S. launch, by acquiring Napster International. Rhapsody will own and operate under the Napster brand in the U.K. and Germany, but further details of the deal were not disclosed.
Rhapsody said it expects to retain all Napster International employees, unlike what happened when Rhapsody bought Napster’s U.S. operations in Oct. 2011. Current Napster subscribers will be migrated to Rhapsody’s infrastructure in March, in a process that Rhapsody said will keep each subscriber’s music library intact while rolling out enhancements to the web client and mobile apps that include improved offline playback quality and more options for managing playlists.
“This is the perfect time to extend our borders – both geographically and technologically, as we take our service to new places, including the automobile and the living room,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “Consumer demand for subscription music has never been greater, and our partners are eager to bring music to the masses in new and creative ways. There is a lot of room for growth in this market and I firmly believe that 2012 is going to be our biggest year yet.”
Thorsten Schliesche, general manager, Napster International, said, “We have always been and will continue to be committed to offering music fans the most flexible, comfortable way to consume and discover music – wherever and whenever they want. The acquisition is another important milestone. Combining Napster International
Press release – http://tinyurl.com/7zhfh28
SFGate – Napster will live on, in Europe
Photo by Flickr user Pasa47/Paul Sableman, used under Creative Commons license