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Napster wants to power more music-streaming services in Asia


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Napster remains a consumer-brand streaming service, but the company’s energies are focusing ever-more keenly on its B2B business, and ‘powered by Napster’ services launched by brands and other partners. Now Napster’s parent company Rhapsody International is making a new push with that strategy in Asia, via a partnership with Vietnamese tech company GNT. The pair will be targeting clients across Asia, including Japan and Vietnam, while also exploring the potential that 5G mobile networks have for music-streaming.

“Our partnership with GNT opens up new opportunities in Asia to innovate in a rapidly evolving streaming music industry and boost adoption of Powered by Napster,” said Rhapsody’s EVP and general manager, Asia Pacific, Brian Ringer. “GNT has a long history of working in the streaming music market in Japan on both the business and technology sides of the industry,” added GNT CEO Ho Tung Lam. “We are very excited to partner with Napster.”

The news comes shortly after Rhapsody’s majority shareholder RealNetworks revealed the latest financials for the streaming service: Napster’s revenues declined by 16.6% to $143.8m in 2018, but it moved from a net loss of $13.1m in 2017 to a net profit of $10.3m in 2018. At the time, RealNetworks also noted that “for Napster to meet its future liquidity needs, however, Napster will need additional financing to fund its operations and growth”.

Stuart Dredge

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