Business News Deals Digital

Rhapsody and Telefonica ally on Napster expansion

By | Published on Thursday 17 October 2013


Often useless (well, in my experience) telecoms giant Telefonica has acquired a slice of Rhapsody International as part of a deal that will see the phone firm get behind the Napster streaming service. And hey, what can go wrong with that alliance?

As previously reported, while in the US digital music firm Rhapsody phased out the Napster brand after acquiring its rival in 2011, outside America, where Rhapsody never previously launched, the company has continued to use the Napster name.

Following expansion of the Napster service in Europe earlier this year, Rhapsody hopes that the Telefonica alliance will help the music platform gain a share of the Latin American market, where its new partner’s Terra internet business will start bundling the streaming set-up, replacing its existing subscription music platform Sonora.

Confirming the venture, while also noting his firm’s past music endeavours through Sonora and its O2 subsidiary, Stephen Shurrock, CEO of New Business Ventures at Telefónica Digital, told CMU: “Whether through the O2 Arenas or services such as Sonora, we have long believed that music is an important way of engaging with customers. As demand for streaming music services takes off, our Rhapsody partnership will allow us to deliver a compelling music proposition to our customers, leveraging Napster’s heritage, brand and strong position in this market”.

From the Rhapsody side, the digital firm’s Senior VP and Global Head Of Product, Paul Springer, added: “At Rhapsody, we have a rich history of providing music lovers instant, anywhere, anytime access to an unlimited catalogue of music. We value product innovation and partnerships, and you’ll see both through this Telefonica relationship. As global smartphone usage continues to rise, particularly in Latin America, we are thrilled to put more music in the hands of music fans across the globe”.