One year since its spinout from RealNetworks, Rhapsody and the subscription music business have never been stronger
SEATTLE—April 1, 2011—One year ago, Rhapsody, the leading premium, on-demand digital music service, spun out from RealNetworks with a challenging road ahead. Today, the company is stronger than ever. It has gained more than 100,000 subscribers since April 1, 2010, bringing the total count to more than 750,000; all while winning awards and praise for its mobile apps on every platform.
Meanwhile, the digital music industry has embraced the subscription music business model, with a flock of start-ups entering the market and analysts projecting it will grow 95 percent over the next five years, to 161 million users (ABI Research).
“This has been a pivotal 12 months for Rhapsody, and for the industry as a whole,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “Mobile has been the most significant contributor to the growth of subscription music usage, as apps make services like Rhapsody available on any smartphone, without the need to purchase an additional device or additional data storage. When you download the Rhapsody app, it’s as though your phone were pre-loaded with 11 million tracks.”
Rhapsody has grown consistently since its independence, adding subscribers and versions of its apps monthly—starting with the first subscription music app on the iPhone with the ability to download tracks for offline playback. With more than 50 product releases, Rhapsody continued to produce hits, with apps for every mobile platform and is now Beta testing a new online experience at http://beta.rhapsody.com.
“In the coming year, you will see Rhapsody on more devices and integrated into various service offerings as we work aggressively to partner with new distribution partners and bring new flavors to the Rhapsody service to our growing membership base,” said Irwin. “This past year is full of huge accomplishments, but we’re just getting started.”
Key Rhapsody Milestones
4/01/2010: Rhapsody’s first day as an independent company. Joint-venture partners MTV and Real Networks join Rhapsody’s board and take a 47 percent ownership stake.
4/16/2010: Rhapsody launches Android app and the first iPhone app to allow offline playback of an on-demand digital music service.
9/15/2010: Rhapsody ranked #1 on-demand music app in iTunes for the first time.
10/15/2010: Launch of BlackBerry app
11/14/2010: Launch of offline playback for Android app
1/07/2011: Verizon Wireless announces Rhapsody will ship on its LTE devices, with integrated billing.
3/1/2011: MTV and Rhapsody launch the “60-Day Free-For-All,” giving new subscribers two months of free music and the largest free music promotion of its kind.
3/2/2011: Rhapsody debuts the Beta of its fast, streamlined and beautiful new online experience, code-named Pixies.
3/21/2011: Beta release of Rhapsody app for Windows Phone 7.