Rhapsody Expands To Latin America, Europe With Major Telefónica Deal
(UPDATED) Spotify and Rdio may get most of the press, but Rhapsody has been a player in streaming music since 2001 – long before these two startups were founded. Today, the company and it's Napster brand, announced a deal with major global telecommunications provider Telefonica that reasserts Rhapsody's place in the upper tier of digital music competitors.
To drive subscriber growth, music subscription services have been aggressively seeking exclusive mobile and other marketing partnerships. Today's agreement is particularly impressive, in part, because of its international reach and customer base.
Napster will now enter the Latin America market via the
transfer of the hundreds of thousands of existing
customers of Telefonica's Sonora music
service. Sonora is one of the largest
subscription music services in Latin America with customers in Brazil,
Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico.
Telefónica Digital, which gains an undisclosed equity stake in Rhapsody as part of deal,
will also now offer bundled Napster music services to its hundreds
of millions of subscribers across Europe and Latin America.
Stephen Shurrock, CEO of New
Business Ventures at Telefónica Digital said in statement “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.”
“At Rhapsody, we have a rich
history of providing music lovers instant, anywhere, anytime access to an
unlimited catalog of music,“ said Paul Springer, SVP and
global head of product for Rhapsody. “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.”