One of the less talked-about streaming music players, Napster (known as Rhapsody in the US market), is quietly doing pretty nicely.
The streaming service says it has increased its customer base by 45% in 2015, and now reaches nearly 3.5 million subscribers in 34 countries.
That’s more than three times the size of TIDAL’s last-announced subscriber base (1m) and almost half of Apple Music’s (6.5m).
Napster/Rhapsody announced that it had hit 3m subscribers in July, meaning that its paying audience is now growing by around 100,000 people every month.
“We are very proud of what Napster has achieved during the last decade, and we continue to develop. During this time, we have expanded to offer 35 million tracks in more than 30 countries globally,” said Thorsten Schliesche, Executive Vice President & General Manager Europe at Napster.
“In 2015 alone, we launched two completely new features: Napster KIDS and Napster AUTO. We will continue to add value and offer the best possible service to music fans.”
Growth in Europe was helped this year through new channel partnerships with a variety of telco, entertainment and consumer electronics brands.
These included a co-operation with the sixth season of “The Voice” in The Netherlands, the launch of a Napster product with global supermarket chain ALDI in Germany and integrating Napster with the leading German online news site BILD.de.
During 2015, total listening hours in Europe on Napster went up by 71%, while the number of streams increased by 88%.
The firm recently launched Napster in Canada with a $1 for three month promotion, similar to that Spotify is now offering around the world.
“Awareness of streaming music is growing fast in the UK. We think 2016 is going to be a really important year, as that awareness turns into broader uptake,” said Schliesche.
“As streaming goes more mainstream it’s going to become even more important to deliver music in a big variety of places – at home, in the car and on the move. All without incurring huge data charges on mobile.”
Rhapsody, parent company of Napster, will celebrate a major anniversary in 2016.
“Next year, Rhapsody will celebrate its 15th anniversary and we’ve never been more excited or optimistic about a category that we helped define in early 2001,” said Ethan Rudin, chief financial officer, Rhapsody International, Inc.
“Despite increasing competition, we continue to believe in the value of music and see our role as vital in creating experiences with music that users around the world will pay for.”Music Business Worldwide