Rhapsody buys Napster's European business in challenge to Spotify


US streaming service Rhapsody has acquired Napster's European business in a bid to challenge Spotify and other online music services.

The deal, for an undiclosed sum, will see Rhapsody launch in the UK and Germany under the Napster brand name. Rhapsody has existed in the US for 11 years and has more than one million paying customers.

Last October Rhapsody bought Napster's US business, which it then re-structured. It says it intends to keep all Napster International's staff and migrate existing users to its infrastructure in March.

The Napster name will be retained in the UK and Germany because it is better known in Europe than Rhapsody.

"The acquisition of Napster and its subscriber base in the UK and Germany gives us an ideal entry to the European market," says Rhapsody president, Jon Irwin.

Arch-rival Spotify launched in the US last July, and is already well established in Europe. It has 2.5 million paying subscribers.

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

Join whathifi.com on Facebook

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.