Napster and Rakuten Partner to Grow Music Streaming in Japan

SEATTLE, May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Napster today announced a new partnership with Japanese internet services company Rakuten, Inc. to enhance Rakuten's on-demand music streaming service, Rakuten Music. Starting today, Napster will deliver song playback and curated playlists from its catalog to Rakuten Music, with a total of over 20 million songs to be added by fall 2017. The two companies are also working on other collaborations to enhance the features of the Rakuten Music service.

Japan is the world's second largest music market after the United States. While CDs and other physical formats still dominate the music industry in Japan, streaming services are beginning to gain momentum.

Rakuten Music will expand the music catalog available to its current subscribers to include songs from global independent music labels. As part of its ongoing support for all artists big or small, Napster will now introduce music from millions of independent artists to music fans in Japan.

"We're seeing the emergence of a new era of on-demand streaming in Japan," Brian Ringer, Napster Chief Technology Officer, said. "Today, we're excited to partner with Rakuten, a world-class brand, to extend the Napster experience into Asia and bring the Japanese music community access to over 20 million tracks through our partnership with Rakuten Music."

"We're excited about collaborating with Napster to enhance our on-demand music streaming service in Japan," said Naho Kono, managing executive officer of Rakuten, Inc. and head of the company's e-commerce business. "By expanding our offering with music from Napster's diverse catalog, we aim to give Rakuten Music subscribers the opportunity to find and enjoy new music from around the world."

Built For You, Powered By You

Napster recently announced an update to its mobile app that includes new features that deliver a more personal, custom music listening experience. Now available on iOS and Android, Napster subscribers are able to take advantage of new product enhancements including:

    --  Interactive Playlist Maker with Suggestion Wizard features custom
        playlist recommendations with a simple "Tinder-like" swiping
        functionality to easily add or pass on recommended songs as you're
        building out your playlist.
    --  Tapping into GIPHY's extensive library, Napster users now have access to
        all the GIFs to visually personalize their playlists, marking the first
        GIF functionality in a music streaming service.
    --  An exclusive, personalized "EarPrint" in partnership with
        headphone-maker EVEN, where members can create a customized audio
        experience by tuning sound precisely to each ear.

About Napster

Napster is one of the world's leading premium subscription streaming music services. Available in 34 countries, Napster gives members unlimited ad-free access to the music they love anywhere, anytime and on any device - online or off. Whether on their phone, at home, at work, or in the car, Napster subscribers can download playlists and tracks from a catalog of 50 million songs, and tap into the power of a global Listener Network, to connect with like-minded music fans and discover new music every day. Owned and operated by U.S.-based Rhapsody International Inc., Napster combines the iconic history of one of the most recognizable music brands in the world with the vast experience and technological platform of Rhapsody International Inc. Napster is headquartered in Seattle, with offices across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, and its respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Napster on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more at

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1 billion members around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has ranked in the top 20 of Forbes Magazine's annual "World's Most Innovative Companies" list. The Rakuten Group has over 14,000 employees, and operations in 29 countries and regions. For more information:

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Napster