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The Most Notorious Music Service of the Early 2000s Is Back

June 15, 2016, 9:08 PM UTC
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Rhapsody, one of the first large-scale music services launched in the U.S. more than 15 years ago, is now rebranding itself as Napster, a music service the company acquired back in 2011.

“No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists,” Rhapsody said in a blog post. “Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!”

The Napster name has been owned and traded several times since the notorious file-sharing service was shut down in 2001. The Napster name has better global pull than Rhapsody, and the company has already been using that name in markets like Canada, according to The Verge.

The rebranding comes after a the company’s bleak financial report from 2015, which showed losses at the music service grew by 70% to 35 million.


Rhapsody isn’t the only one hurting. Spotify’s financial results have also solidified how broken the music industry is. Based of the way the digital music business is currently structured, many music services like Spotify and Rhapsody have trouble making a profit, despite the fact they can pull big revenue. For example, of every dollar that Spotify brings in the door in revenues, about 85 cents goes right back out the door again in the form of payments to the music industry.