In the competitive world of online streaming music, Rhapsody just got a significant boost thanks to a partnership with Spanish wireless carrier Telefonica.Telefonica announced that it was making a strategic investment in Rhapsody. As part of this deal, Telefonica will bundle and resell the Rhapsody streaming service to its wireless and broadband customers.
The rollout will be limited in scope at first, with Rhapsody replacing Sonora, a subscription music service being offered by Telefonica in Latin America. This will be the first time Napster’s music service will be available in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. Eventually, Telefonica could offer the Napster service through its operating units of O2 and Moviestar.
This investment will earn Telefonica a minority stake in Rhapsody, but the two companies would not comment on the percentage of ownership nor the financial terms of the deal. Worldwide, Telefonica has 317.3 million subscribers in Latin America, Europe and Spain. Rhapsody is estimated to have more than a million paid customers worldwide.