In a move to bolster it’s market share in the online, on-demand music industry, Rhapsody has agreed to aquire Napster subscribers and certain other assets from Best Buy, which will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody. Rhapsody President, Jon Irwin, said in a statement,
“This deal will further extend Rhapsody’s lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market…. There’s substantial value in bringing Napster’s subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals.”
A Rhapsody spokeswoman has also stated that the company plans to re-brand Napster under the Rhapsody name. So, pretty soon after the deal finalizes on November 30, 2011, Napster will cease to exist once again. Bye-bye, Napster. Bye-bye.
Rhapsody is doing this mostly to obtain Napster’s subscriber base, hoping that it will strengthen their subscription music service at a time with Apple’s iTunes dominating the music market and other music services rising like Oakland, CA’s Pandora and Sweden’s Spotify. Will this help enough to keep Rhapsody competitive and viable in the on-demand music marketplace in the coming years? We shall see.