I'd love to say 'subscription has finally arrived!' or something equally euphoric, but this just isn't that moment. According to details shared on Thursday, Rhapsody now has one million paying subscribers, a development that closely follows the company's acquisition of Napster. Which means this is just as much a story about loss as it is growth.
The reason? Napster's been losing a lot of subscribers for a long, long time. And the post-acquisition stats make that obvious: heading into the acquisition in early October, Rhapsody reported a subscriber tally of 800,000. Heading into the Best Buy acquisition a few years back, Napster reported 760,000 subscribers, which suggests a drop of nearly half-a-million subscribers under Best Buy's guidance.
Meanwhile, Spotify seems to be in a different league, at least in terms of momentum and attention. The company has barely been in the US for six months, yet its paid subscriber tally had surpassed 250,000 by mid-October. And, its global paid footprint is well past 2.5 million. Undoubtedly an expensive acquisition exercise, though Rhapsody hasn't been a cheap endeavor, either.
The gigantic question is whether this all scales into something big and mainstream. For now, both services also face very difficult challenges, the biggest of which is probably licensing. Spotify dropped tens-of-millions to license the majors in the US, and those deals eventually need to be renewed.
And it turns out those deals don't actually cover everything! Instead, some major-signed bands are now taking the initiative to withhold their content from streaming services, while forcing consumers towards more lucrative, paid download or physical configurations. It's already happened with a number of marquee acts, most notably Coldplay and the Black Keys, and could force both companies to radically rethink their pricing and tiering approaches.
@wesleyverhoeve Thursday, December 22, 2011
Impressive? no, embarrassing.
@Matt_Kiser Thursday, December 22, 2011
@pgandh Thursday, December 22, 2011
JacksonL Thursday, December 22, 2011
One Million really? How come I've never met ONE?
- - - Thursday, December 22, 2011
Angry and bored Thursday, December 22, 2011
This whole thing is soooo boring.
Every day I check the feeds from the so called music tech/business blogs and it is the same bla bla bla bla bla bla Spotify bla bla bla bla bla Napster bla bla bla bla bla Rhapsody bla bla bla bla Sony bla bla bla bla bla RIAA bla bla bla bla bla bla Lady Gaga bla bla bla bla bla bla bla Kardashian bla bla bla bla bla Madonna.
Where is that thing called "journalism"? Where is that thing called "research"?
Lady Gaga dressed with raw meat and that's music news?
Madonna has a new perfume and that's music industry update?
Do you realize that, if tomorrow all these blogs disappear from the net, the musicians didn't really lose anything? Take a moment and think about it.
Why do you insist to be noise instead of information? Why do you insist copy-pasting press releases and shit like that, instead of being "that reliable source"? No blog is interested in this? No one gives a fuck anymore?
So, if you don't give a fuck now, how do you see yourselves ten years from now? Fifteen years from now? Twenty years from now? This is your model? This shitty bla bla bla bla bla is a way of life?
Digital Music News is the best of this pile of shit, this is why I am posting this here. Hey, at least you bothered to make Grooveshark uncomfortable. I give you that.
Visitor Thursday, December 22, 2011
First off LOL.
Second I can't totally agree with you on your assessment. Digital Music News & Hypebot are two of the best one stop shops for all that is internet + music.
If you disagree, where do you traffic on the daily?
And to Paul's defense, he does do his research. Are his conclusions always on point? No. Do they attract readers? Yes.
Idaho87 Thursday, December 22, 2011
I've read every article ever published on DMN no joke. And I'd say more than 65% of the time I'm disagree with what is being said. But you are right at least he backs it up with research so I can make my own decisions.
Joe Thursday, December 22, 2011
At a minimum Paul needs to hire a real writer. The stuff he posts is so poorly written. Like a bunch of high school assignments.
uh-huh Thursday, December 22, 2011
...says the frustrated Billboard writer
Hyped much Thursday, December 22, 2011
Please. Hypebot is junk. There are Twitter bots with more interesting "news".
@axeslinginfrog Thursday, December 22, 2011
Considering Napster was sold 10M from AOLMusicNow in '07...no.
> ' ' < Thursday, December 22, 2011
Who cares? Rhapsody doesn't bother about indie artists anyway. Just look at their website.
am not! Tuesday, December 27, 2011