Last October, Rhapsody bought Napster's US properties, which at the time seemed like one of the lesser music streaming sites eating another lesser music streaming site. Granted, the one getting eaten, Napster, was the company to get the whole music streaming ball thing off the ground. But this only added to the sadness of it, showing how fickle the tech industry is, how transitive success can be.
Now Rhapsody has taken that deal a step further and acquired all of Napster's European properties as well, which weren't a part of last October's acquisition, thus completing the Darwinian drama. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
When Rhapsody bought Napster US, a string of lay-offs within the Napster infrastructure ensued. However, Rhapsody has assured us all that this time around that won't happen. European Napster employees' jobs will be safe, so says Rhapsody in one report, and in some European regions, Napster will even keep its old name because it's better known.
The full transfer will happen in March of this year, and Napster users' accounts will retain their libraries. Subscription fees will also stay the same for now.
Rhapsody is one of the older music sites, founded in 2001, though like everyone else in the game lately, they've been left in the dust by Spotify. But that didn't keep Rhapsody from calling themselves the "largest subscription music service in the US" in thei release Thursday, which is kind of adorable.
Last December, Rhapsody boasted having one million paid subscribers in the US, which is nothing to shake a stick at.
That same month, however, Spotify reported having 2.5 million paid subscribers, which still represents only a quarter of their over 10 million global non paid accounts. It's not clear what percentage of that is in the US as opposed to Europe, but Spotify is assumingly bigger in Europe, as they have been there much longer.
"The acquisition of Napster and its subscriber base in the UK and Germany gives us an ideal entry to the European market," said Rhapsody president, Jon Irwin, via the company's release. "Through the benefit of scale, the strength of our editorial programming and strategic partnerships, we can now bring the Napster service to even more consumers on a variety of platforms."
[Image Credit: PokTech]