MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Telefonica Digital and Rhapsody International today announced a wide-ranging strategic agreement to take a leading place in the fast growing streaming music market. The agreement is one of the largest of its kind in digital music in terms of global reach and customer base. It paves the way for Napster, a Rhapsody owned brand, to enter the Latin America market via the transfer of the hundreds of thousands of existing customers of the Sonora music service. Telefonica, which gains an equity stake in Rhapsody as part of deal, will also now be able to offer bundled Napster music services to its hundreds of millions of subscribers across its global footprint.
The market for streaming music services has exploded in recent years. Rhapsody pioneered this market, introducing the first music subscription model in 2001, and continues to innovate through its product and strategic partnerships.
Napster music service enters Latin America
As part of the agreement, customers of Sonora, the subscription music service provided by Telefonica subsidiary, Terra, will have their music service migrated to Napster from November 1st. Sonora is one of the largest subscription music services in Latin America with customers in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. Starting in Brazil, Terra customers will be offered the opportunity to switch to the Napster music service for the same price or less than they currently pay for Sonora and gain access to millions of new music tracks in the process.
Rhapsody has established an office in Sao Paulo to support this deal and future commercial launches throughout Latin America.
Leading subscription music service to Telefonica customers
With consumers increasingly opting for the convenience and flexibility of subscription-based music services, this partnership enables Telefonica operating businesses in Europe and Latin America to deliver the Napster premium music service, with unlimited access to over 20 million tracks and custom curated editorial content, to their customers across a wide range of mobile and connected devices. More details of individual product launches will be unveiled by operating businesses closer to commercial launches.
Following the successful launch of Firefox OS devices in Europe and Latin America, Rhapsody has already delivered a dedicated Napster Music Service for the platform, available to download from the Firefox Marketplace. As Telefonica launches in more markets, including Brazil and three other Latin America countries during Q4, it will look to pre-load Napster on devices sold.
Commenting on the partnership, Stephen Shurrock, CEO of New Business Ventures at Telefonica Digital said, "Whether through the O2 Arenas or services such as Sonora, we have long believed that music is an important way of engaging with customers. As demand for streaming music services takes off, our Rhapsody partnership will allow us to deliver a compelling music proposition to our customers, leveraging Napster's heritage, brand and strong position in this market."
"At Rhapsody, we have a rich history of providing music lovers instant, anywhere, anytime access to an unlimited catalog of music," said Paul Springer, senior vice president and global head of product for Rhapsody. "We value product innovation and partnerships, and you'll see both through this Telefonica relationship. As global smartphone usage continues to rise, particularly in Latin America, we are thrilled to put more music in the hands of music fans across the globe."
About Telefonica Digital
Telefonica Digital is a global business division of Telefonica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefonica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. It is also driving innovation in over the top communications under a new umbrella brand called TU and in Big Data through Telefonica Dynamic Insights. Telefonica Digital will deliver these new products and services to Telefonica's 316 million customers as well as entering new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Axismed, Eleven Paths, giffgaff, Jajah, Media Networks Latin America and Terra are all managed under the Telefonica Digital umbrella.
About Rhapsody International
Rhapsody International is parent company of leading streaming music services, Rhapsody and Napster. Initially launched in December 2001, Rhapsody is the original streaming music service that gives members unlimited on-demand access to more than 20 million songs, whether they're listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. In December 2011, Rhapsody International acquired Napster International. Rhapsody International is headquartered in Seattle, with offices across the U.S. and Europe. Rhapsody and the Rhapsody logo are registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.
Napster is one of the world's leading premium subscription digital music services. Owned and operated by U.S.-based Rhapsody International Inc., Napster combines the iconic history of one of the most recognizable digital music brands in the world with the vast experience and technological platform of the first subscription music service, Rhapsody. Napster offers one of the world's most comprehensive online music collections and provides access to your music anywhere, via hundreds of devices. Rhapsody, Napster, and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. For more information, visit www.napster.com.
SOURCE Telefonica Digital