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Rhapsody Makes Moves to Threaten Spotify

TMCnet Feature

August 12, 2014

Rhapsody Makes Moves to Threaten Spotify

By Clayton Hamshar
Contributing Writer

The music streaming service Rhapsody recently announced that they have over two million paid subscribers, offering a music library of more than thirty million tracks. Although this is quite a sizable customer base Rhapsody is nonetheless eclipsed by Spotify (News - Alert), a similar service with over ten million paid subscribers, yet a catalogue of only around twenty million tracks.

A slew of recent activity demonstrates the company’s desire to maintain a strong competitive edge against Spotify. Rhapsody considers itself the main contender against the industry leader, and hopes to position itself on equal or higher footing.

Last month Rhapsody entered an agreement with T-Mobile (News - Alert) to offer a new service, called Rhapsody unRadio, for half of their normal subscription price of $9.99 (which is also the price Spotify charges). The company has announced plans to enter similar agreements with several European carriers, implying this business model is working beautifully. Expanding into the radio and mobile markets is a vital step considering the modern technologically savvy consumer base.

Only a few days later, Rhapsody strengthened their position even further by acquiring Schematic Labs, the creator of the music sharing app SoundTracking, and Exfm, a social music discovery service that has been inactive since May. The Soundtracking app allows users to share what song they are currently listening to with their friends in a feed, and it is planned to remain operational and be integrated with Rhapsody’s streaming service. The company has yet to announce the fate of Exfm’s acquisition, but it is presumed that their technology and infrastructure will be enveloped within the Rhapsody service in order to improve it as a whole.

“Our recently launched radio service underscores our commitment to giving mobile music fans even more ways to discover and download great music,” said Paul Springer, SVP Americas and Chief Product Officer of Rhapsody International.

The next year or two will be very important for the company, as it breaks into more mainstream popularity or falls into obscurity. Despite the intense competition from Spotify and a lack of strong support from Apple and Google (News - Alert), Rhapsody may yet prevail.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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