According to Billboard, Rhapsody announced today that they’ve bought Napster, which was previously owned by Best Buy. This makes for an even bigger year for the streaming music subscription service, as they acquired Yahoo! Music’s Music Unlimited (along with their 400,000 subscribers) in February. While Best Buy was not able to help Napster secure deals with labels as they had hoped, Rhapsody already has an estimated 800,000 subscribers and an attractive new freemium model, which should keep their competitors — such as Spotify — at bay.
Rhapsody president Jon Irwin stated, “This deal will further extend Rhapsody’s lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market. There’s substantial value in bringing Napster’s subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals.”
The remaining paperwork is expected to become final by November 30, 2011.