Rhapsody’s Demi-Milestone

By  |  Monday, July 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

Rhapsody, the longest-lived subscription music service–it’s been around since 2001–is celebrating the fact that it now has 800,000 subscribers. Its president, Jon Irwin, says that “exceeds the lifetime total of all new U.S. competitors combined”–by which I presume it means other services such as MOG, Napster, Rdio, and Slacker. That would mean that fewer than 1.6 million people in the U.S. subscribe to any of these services. Which, given that the companies who offer them have had a decade to try and get the world interested, may mean that the concept simply isn’t all that appealing. ¬†(I like it–I happily pay for Rdio–but at what point does the industry stop insisting that subscription music will be a huge hit once everyone understands how great it is?)



2 Comments For This Post

  1. David Says:

    Perhaps they should call it "Music Leasing".

  2. Eddie Says:

    One reason I'm looking forward to Spotify's launch in the US is to see if it's expanded access for users not paying anything will succeed in generating interest where existing services have failed. In my experience people need time to learn that their music listening habits are shaped around having limited song selection (personal purchases) and/or limited control over content (traditional radio, pandora,etc.)

    Once a very large selection of music under precise control is made available, some people quickly adapt and fall in love with it, but I think for many people seeing the potential is overshadowed by "but it all goes away if I stop paying" and the brief trial period doesn't provide the time to try & experiment, break traditional music listening patterns, and see the advantages. This is where I hope Spotify's more generous access for non-paying users will be helpful.