3.5 Million Reasons Why Rhapsody Still Matters

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Rhapsody has increased its subscribers by 45 percent over the last year. The stalwart music streaming service now has nearly 3.5 million global subscribers.

The news highlights the opportunity in front of Rhapsody as music streaming goes mainstream.  The recent growth in the music streaming market has seen the likes of Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube storm ahead.

However, in this fiercely competitive market, Rhapsody has fought to stay relevant and its recent growth definitely makes it a player in the game.  “Despite increasing competition, we continue to believe in the value of music and see our role as vital in creating experiences with music that users around the world will pay for,” says Ethan Rudi, Chief Financial Officer.

According to Rhapsody, the recent growth of the company was powered by the introduction of new features, like Rhapsody Auto, Rhapsody Kids, and Twitter Audio Cards.  The novel Audio Cards concept lets users share licensed music on Twitter.  The company has also formed partnerships with Google’s Chromecast, Aldi supermarkets, Sonos smart speakers, Shazam, and others.

The company’s subscription model is simple: there’s an ad-free streaming tier for $9.99 per month, and a radio product — ‘unRadio’ — for $4.99 a month.  Currently, Rhapsody is offering three months for premium, while symbolically charging $1 for the trial.  Rudin says, the “idea of streaming music is still new to a lot of people and we believe there is still a lot of innovation to be had at price points between free and $10 per month.”

In music streaming years, Rhapsody is long-in-the-tooth.  “Next year, Rhapsody will celebrate its 15th anniversary and we’ve never been more excited or optimistic about a category that we helped define in early 2001,” Rudin went on to say.

20 Responses

  1. Noah

    I wonder if they have stats on how many of their overall users have been active in the past 30-90 days

    • Paul Resnikoff

      That’s actually what got Deezer in trouble. Their top-line number was solid, but take a look deeper (which prospective investors and analysts did while considering an IPO), and actual *active* users was low. Many were bundled into mobile plans, technically ‘subscribers’ often without realizing it, caring, or both.

      Beyond that, few were paying full-fare. It was fluffed-up.

      Rhapsody’s financials have been very weak, from what I remember. So not sure this 3.5 million is necessarily a good indicator of overall health.

      • Remi Swierczek

        They are all in trouble, Apple, Spoofy and RedTube are all full of CRAP!

        Very educated folks KILLING $200B of music goodwill obvious to dumb-ass to arrive with $20B of subs and ads in 2025!

      • Name2


        And if you were a subscriber not paying close attention, Rhapsody did not volunteer or advertise the info that the $14.99 Premier plan w/ 3 devices could simply be a $9.99 plan.

        Or that the $9.99 plan could be $7.99 if you simply opted to pay for a year’s worth of service in advance.

        Furthermore, a paying customer who doesn’t actually stream music for a month or two? A CFO’s wet dream. Like everything from gym memberships to Amazon Prime to Jim Bakker’s rapturous getaway playland, the business model only makes sense if not everyone shows up and collects on everything they’ve paid for. (In fact, Amazon incentivizes Prime members to opt for sluggish shipping with – guess what? – free music downloads. LOLz.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          Depends on the details. Sure, if I never show up for my $100 a month gym membership, the model is working. If I’m not using my mobile-bundled Rhapsody ‘subscription’ because I don’t know it exists, and Rhapsody is getting a tiny payment on that, well… now we’re just fluffing things up.

          • Name2

            For better or worse, the music business was built by people not afraid to count their fortunes in half-cents. If you have good hard info on Rhapsody shenanigans, bring it

        • Casey

          The $7.99 price has actually been pushed pretty heavily. I get emails about it on a weekly basis. I am guessing they are trying to buff up their balance sheets in the near quarters.

  2. Adam

    Seriously though. Guys like this will never survive. Heck, even Spotify could easily go away.

    When the big boys like Apple and Google use music as a loss leader these independent providers will never be able to compete. End of story.

    Rhapsoday, Deezer, Tidal (and yes, even you Spotify) – good luck.

  3. Jeff Robinson

    This is still the only streaming I know of that will remove indie music for charting ahead of major label acts. It also appears to be the only service that will encourage the miscategorization of Genre to keep indie tracks away from major label material.

      • Jeff Robinson

        You can claim what you want, this happens frequently. Our artists have had this happen on more than one occasion.

        • No

          No. In fact from a royalties standpoint the services are incentivized to do the opposite. So no.

          • Jeff Robinson

            Currently we have a new age artist which was categorized as such through the distributor and Rhapsody has this artist in the Reggae genre, which is completely incorrect. We had another act that had a #1 for 5 weeks in the Classical Minimalism genre (correctly categorized) and the artist was removed with no explanation. Rhapsody is about major label shenanigans.

          • Anonymous

            Is there a lot of major label competition in the classical minimalism genre that would precipitate your claims???

          • Jim Santanella

            Hey @Jeff Robinson, please feel free to reach out to me directly (jsantanella@rhapsody.com) and I can have the team look into your issue. Thanks.

  4. blahblahblah

    I was an Rdio user for a long time and just started trying to use Spotify again. It’s unbelievable what an unusable piece of garbage it is compared to Rdio. The only reason Spotify is number one is because it’s FREE. God, I hope Pandora is smart enough to basically stick their name on the Rdio interface and relaunch it pretty much as-is. Rdio was simple and it worked. The ease with which you could navigate a label’s releases and sort by release date or popularity, is just one example. You could also easily access an entire label from any artist you may be listening to. I know this post is about Rhapsody, but does anyone know if any other streaming service can do this?

    • Casey

      Rhapsody is working on categorization by labels. I don’t know if it is live on their web player yet or not.

      You should give their service a try if you haven’t. It has improved a lot.