Rhapsody is expanding its presence to the living room, rolling out its digital music service to LG, Panasonic and Samsung smart TVs, targeting Sharp sets in the coming months and promising to hit Microsoft’s Xbox Live this year.
The Seattle-based company sees the bulk of usage on smartphones — through Rhapsody apps for iPhone and Android — but execs say they wanted to provide users more places to listen to music.
“For us, when we think about TVs in the home, it’s really about an extension of that experience, not necessarily a replacement,” said Paul Springer, Rhapsody’s senior vice president of product and design. “Mobile and handsets, Android and iOS, continue to dominate usage, but our best customers want their music everywhere.”
Rhapsody says access on televisions and Xbox Live will be included as part of its existing $9.99/month and $14.99/month plans, without counting against device limits.
The company has been on TVs in a limited way in the past, but focused heavily this time on creating a quality ‘lean-back’ experience for the living room interface, Springer said.
In December of last year, Rhapsody said it had topped 1 million subscribers for the first time in its history, leveraging its MetroPCS partnership and its acquisition of the Napster music service from Best Buy.
Rhapsody is an independent, privately held company, based in downtown Seattle, following its 2010 spinoff from RealNetworks. However, RealNetworks retains a large stake in Rhapsody and reports Rhapsody’s financial results as part of its quarterly regulatory filings.
According to those numbers, for the quarter ended June 30, Rhapsody’s revenue rose 22 percent to $37.8 million, despite increasing competition from Spotify and other rivals. The company’s net loss also increased, to $4.5 million, suggesting that executives are investing in the business for future growth.
Speaking via phone yesterday, Rhapsody exec Springer hinted at more initiatives in the pipeline. “You should expect to see an accelerated rate of innovation here,” he said. “A lot of stuff in the hopper.”