Rhapsody, the granddaddy of music streaming services, will dump its longtime name in the U.S. in favor of the Napster brand that it has been using internationally, creating “one global brand” in an effort to better compete against Spotify and other rivals.
Seattle-based Rhapsody International, which acquired the Napster brand from Best Buy in 2011, announced the rebranding plan today.
Napster has been best known in the U.S. as the pioneering and highly controversial music trading service that shut down under court order in 2001, before the brand was reborn as a paid music subscription service.
A Rhapsody representative says subscribers “can keep enjoying their playlists, favorites and albums as usual, without interruption; they’ll automatically be brought in under the Napster name via auto updates in the app.” No word yet on the specific timing of the update.
Rhapsody International, which spun out of RealNetworks 2010, announced Mike Davis as the first CEO in its history in April. Rhapsody reported subscriber growth of 45 percent in 2015, approaching 3.5 million paying customers. However, that growth came at a price: the company also disclosed a record $35.5 million net loss, despite growing its revenue 16 percent for the year.