Rhapsody/Napster confirms 2.5 subscribers

Streaming service Rhapsody, which operates as Napster in the EU, has confirmed that it has now surpassed 2.5 million paid subscribers globally – as reported by MBW earlier this month.

The service enjoyed an annual subscriber increase of over 60% in 2014, but is still a long way off Spotify‘s global subscriber base of 15m.

Rhapsody said its growth was being ‘fuelled by partnerships with several of the world’s largest wireless providers, auto manufacturers and the launch of new, innovative Internet radio products’.

Rhapsody is likely to post a $15m loss for 2015 when its parent, RealNetworks, files its K-10 SEC form in March.

In the first nine months of 2014, Rhapsody posted a net loss of $14.3m.RealNetworks has reported its own full-year detailed fiscal results but not Rhapsody’s. However, its has revealed that its year-to-date equity in Rhapsody’s net losses increased slightly from Q3 2014 to the end of Q4 – up from $4.17 to $4.45m.

“Our decision to prioritize the mobile music experience is paying off. We’re seeing a fast-paced transition toward mobile-only listening throughout our global base of members,” said Ethan Rudin, chief financial officer, Rhapsody International.

“Over the next six months, we plan to continue to extend relationships with our wireless, auto and connected device partners to ensure we deliver experiences that make streaming music an essential part of daily life.”

88 percent of Rhapsody subscribers listen to some amount of music on their phone, according to the company. And 70% are exclusively listening on their mobile device, up 19% from a year ago.

RealNetworks revealed that Rhapsody is now active in 32 countries around the world.

Napster’s global partnership with Telefonica has seen Napster successfully launched across Telefonica’s businesses in Germany (via O2 and EPlus), Brazil (via Vivo) and across the Latin American region (via Movistar).

Napster and Telefonica launched a major campaign in Chile in 2014 with more planned this year. Napster also continues to grow thanks to additional European partnerships, including SFR (France) and Vodafone (Spain and Greece). In December, WIND Italy and Napster introduced a new offer, “All Inclusive Music,” to WIND customers.

Napster also recently announced a partnership with Audi, which integrates the service into select Audi models for seamless listening in the car.

In June, Rhapsody and T-Mobile introduced Rhapsody unRadio, a new ad-free music radio service that lets users skip and replay tracks. Its subscriptions grew 67% in Q4.

“We wanted to bring the Un-carrier approach to Internet radio by creating a service that puts music listeners in control and gives them a totally uninterrupted, ad-free experience,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile. “It’s fantastic to see how much people are loving unRadio.”

Added Rudin: “Last year was a breakthrough year and it’s clear that streaming is here to stay. 2015 will be about showing the influence that streaming has in this new music industry, now that the average music lover understands what it means to have unlimited on-demand music in their pocket. As pioneers in the streaming business, we will continue offering innovative products to support this growing change in the industry.”Music Business Worldwide

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